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General News of Thursday, 18 April 2019

Source: GNA

Supend new school uniform policy - Ex-POTAG President

Former POTAG President, Mr James S. Dugrah Former POTAG President, Mr James S. Dugrah

A Former National President of Polytechnic Teachers Association Ghana (POTAG) has appealed to Ghana Education Service (GES) to suspend the implementation of the new school uniform policy to allow parents and guardians to prepare themselves financially.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Wa, Mr James S. Dugrah, said even though GES had stated the uniform was not compulsory for students in the basic schools, speedy implementation of the policy would exert additional financial burden on parents and guardians.

“GES should have served adequate notice to parents, at least give them one year grace period, before implementing the policy so that they can adequately prepare towards it,” he said.

“I think it is a good policy, but the time is wrong looking at the current economic situation”.

He said some children might not understand why their colleagues should be wearing the attire while they do not, simply because their parents could not afford for them immediately due to financial constraints.

“Children do not understand the language of no money in the pocket and will pressure their parents to buy them the uniform,” he said.

“There is a public outcry of hardship by parents that there is no money in their pockets, and indeed there is no money in the system, so I am appealing to government to suspend the policy”.

Mr Dugrah noted that even though the policy was good, government could have suspended its implementation until another academic year to enable parents prepare towards it, else it would have negative impact on teaching and learning.

He warned that failure by government to suspend the new basic school uniform instantaneously would have devastating consequences on enrolment, absenteeism, truancy and reduce children’s concentration during lessons.

It could badly affect the psychology of children and undermine their academic performance and progression, he added.

He said it was also risky and politically “unwise” to introduce such a “controversial policy” considering current boisterous political atmosphere and with less than two years for the country to go into its presidential and parliamentary elections.

The policy would have negative psychological impact on school children whose parents cannot afford the uniform, he said, and that could have adverse impact on teaching and learning.

The GES and Ministry of Education announced early this month the introduction of new curriculum and uniform for basic schools which has since triggered public debate.

There are more than 6,000 private and public basic schools across the 16 regions of the country. Basic schools start with 11 to 14 years, but with the newly proposed policy Ghana’s basic education would extend to include; senior high school.

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