The Minority in Parliament has dismissed an apology by the Ghana Education Service (GES) for the sudden postponement of reopening for final year Senior High School students.
Speaking to Host, Evans Mensah on PM Express Wednesday, Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Education Committee, Dr. Clement Apaak described the apology as insincere and accused the government of risking the lives of students who travel long distances to school.
“I think that the apology is insincere largely because they had ample time and given that GES is the principal agency, there was no reason why they could not have anticipated this and announced the postponement much earlier. So that parents, students would not have gone through the stress that they have gone through. Students risking their lives to travel as far as they have to school and be told to go back again. GES, the government, and the Ministry are not being sincere” he said.
Senior year students were scheduled to return to school on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 to complete their academic works ahead of the WASSCE exams.
But on the same day, the Ghana Education Service released a statement to announce the postponement of the reopening date to May 5, 2021.
The sudden development caused inconveniences for students and parents alike with some left frustrated when they got to campus only to be hit with the news.
GES has since apologised for the late communication but Dr Apaak said the explanation was untenable and demanded the government come clear on the actual reason for the rescheduling of the reopening date.
The MP for Builsa South blamed the inadequate space in the various schools as the reason why the government prevented the final year students from going back to school.
He further chastised the government for its inability to adequately prepare for the surge in student enrollment as a result of the implementation of the Free Senior School policy in 2017.
Head of Public Relations Unit at GES, Cassandra Twum Ampofo who was also on the Show acknowledged the inadequate school infrastructure but partly attributed the demand for social distancing in the wake Covid-19 pandemic necessitated the decision to postpone the reopening for final year students.
“GES’ primary reason that it gave was that the challenge of a lack of physical space to accommodate the students. They struggle a lot to put more wait on the excuse that this has been done to allow the students to stay home for another one month so they could then come to school and have uninterrupted study time. But that is not the truth. The real reason why we are where we are is because the government has failed to even construct half of the 1,119 educational infrastructure projects on the various campuses of senior high schools at the time when the student population is increasing” Dr Apaak indicated.
The Deputy Ranking Member on Education also urged the government to as a matter of urgency utilise the $1.5 billion GetFund approved by Parliament to bridge the infrastructure deficit in schools in order to avert a looming crisis.