Several residents in the Upper East Region have expressed dissatisfaction over the interruption of the academic calendar of Second Cycle Institutions, particularly the vacation period for students.
According to some parents, the interruption not only denies the students enough contact hours to learn but also puts a financial burden on them. They have, therefore, called for a quick resolution to the situation.
The concern was raised when some first-year students of the second-cycle institutions, particularly those running the double-track system, were asked to proceed on vacation and report in June after only three weeks in school. At the same time, second-year students are to spend only 10 days on vacation.
One parent, Mr Michael Azure, expressed concern about the short vacation period, stating that it would affect him because he would have to provide for his ward to go back to school at a time when his monthly salary was not yet paid.
Due to the economic situation in the country, he emphasized that it was not easy for him to provide for his family and pay his ward’s school fees, which places pressure on him as the head of the family.
A teacher by profession and a resident of Garu, Mr Abraham Atubiga, expressed that some students have complained that their parents would not be able to afford to provide their provisions, school fees and other needs, given the current economic stress in the country.
He appealed to the government to address the challenges.
Similarly, a student and resident of Garu, Mr Emmanuel Alalba, stated that the new calendar has placed a burden on the students to learn to pass their examination due to the limited contact hours, adding that “the old calendar gave students ample time to learn in school, and that was better.”
Responding to the concerns, Mr Ayeriga Azeriya, the Bawku Municipal Director of Education, Ghana Education Service, explained that the new curriculum was used because of the COVID-19 pandemic that interrupted the education calendar in the country.
He added that the reason the vacation period had been shortened was for the education system to return to the old system, which would be fully activated on September 1, 2023.