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General News of Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

SHS reopening fiasco: No infrastructure to accommodate students – Asiedu Nketia

Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the opposition NDC has argued that the current brouhaha surrounding the reopening of schools for final year Senior High School students is because there is no infrastructure in public schools to accommodate the students when they go back to school.

According to him, if the government had continued with the infrastructure programme started by the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama administration, there would not have been any problems with accommodation.

“This GES [Ghana Education Service] problem, are you saying that the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) did not know the conditions as at the time the government or whoever announced the reopening of schools?" Asiedu Nketia, who is a professional teacher, queried on Joy News on Sunday, April 11.

Final year Senior High Students were scheduled to return to school on Tuesday, April 6, to complete their academic work ahead of the main WASSCE which usually takes place in May/June.

Late morning, when many were in public transport across the country, and others had arrived in school, the Ghana Education Service (GES) in a statement postponed the reopening date to May 5, 2021.

The sudden development caused a lot of inconvenience for school authorities, students and parents/guardians alike; some heard the news when they were aboard buses and had to disembark, others were hit with the news when they got to campus.

While apologising for the late communication in the rescheduled date, the Public Relations Unit of the GES explained that the new date was to provide the final year students an uninterrupted teaching period ahead of the WASSCE.

The GES also stated:

“The postponement was to give them uninterrupted instructional hours and that is exactly what the situation is. Again, CHASS also indicated to us the other challenges which we are working on. The issues relating to furniture, etc., and we are very sure that on May 5, all the challenges raised by CHASS will be resolved."

When asked what he thinks is the real problem of the Senior High Schools, General Mosquito, as he is known popularly said:

“The real problem is that there is no infrastructure to accommodate them [students] and this infrastructure was what we were doing and the NPP came out and said what we were doing was wrong and that they can accommodate people and do Double Track…by now, they should be doing the red track,” the NDC scribe jabbed.

He explained that even with the Double Track - the first track and the second track [Green and Gold] is developing these problems “because the second-year students in school would have to vacate to provide accommodation for the third year, that is why they have to bring the third-year people home at the time they are preparing for final exams”.

“So, they should have announced a third track so that these people will enter that third track,” Asiedu Nketia jabbed again.

He stated further that his side, the NDC, warned the Akufo-Addo administration about the consequences surrounding Free SHS.

“Many of these problems that are coming, they are coming because they were created by the NPP in their first term…perhaps they thought that let us do whatever it takes to let people applaud us so that by the time the repercussions will be coming, we would be away [from office]," he made a further mockery of the NPP and the Akufo-Addo administration.

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