Basic schools to close at 4:00 pm instead of 2:00pm- Education Minister proposes

Education Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has been outlining some drastic reforms his sector seeks to implement to ensure better teaching and learning practices for improved outcomes.

Speaking at the National Education Sector Review forum in Accra, he proposed that there should be an extension of closing time for basic schools in the country. “School closes too early in this country. At 2:00pm, parents from farms are not back and parents working at the public service are not back from work, so why can’t school close at 4:00 pm,” he said.

He also expressed displeasure at the current quality of education, especially at the basic level. He said there are about 42,000 teachers in early grade teaching about 650,000 odd children which means 10 to 15 students are assigned to one teacher. Yet, at primary two, only 2% of the pupil can read at that level.

That is unacceptable, he pointed out, saying, “we in the ministry are not going to rest till things change”.

Speaking at the review, the GES Director General, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa said the Education service is creating a division to be in charge of evaluation, planning and research to avoid the inconsistency and ensure accountability.

“When we get the leadership right, we get curriculum, inspection, and teacher education right”, he said.

He assured that they are putting teacher-learning materials and other measures in place to facilitate quality education and bridge gaps. Of all the proposed reviews by the Education Minister, the extension of the closing time for basic school pupils has been the most topical.

Some parents who spoke to Joy News were in favour of the extension of the closing time.

“it will increase efficiency in teaching and learning,” one of them said.

“It will help the student to exhaust the syllabus” and “stop some students from joining bad crowds” another intimated.

However Country Director of NGO World Education, Susan Adu Aryee raised some issues about the new proposal.

“What happens to students learning for a long time,” she asked, adding “what is the percentage of parents who are not home when kids close from school, are we going to use the extra hours for life skills or continue the curriculum.”

She said the government should look at the Ghanaian society and research into what will help the education system in the country.

He also told the Ghana Education Service (GES) the lapses such as incoherent curriculum and lack of supervision and assessment made are “totally unacceptable”.

“When I asked what the pupil standards are, they did not have one and when I asked for a curriculum to address the pupil standards I was given a draft”, he said.

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