African Foundation For Educational Development (AFFED) has taken notice of the 2022/2023 Academic year Calendar for KG, Primary, and Junior High Schools which seeks to keep all levels in school for a five (5) month semester period.
Even though increasing the term length may interpret more contact hours for learning, it is important to also consider and pay attention to the challenges it poses to learners, in particular, teachers and even parents.
Attention deficit disorder
It is important to look at the dire consequences the long duration academic calendar will impose on the learners who find themselves at the early and formative years of learning; a deficit in attention and learner fatigue must never be underestimated.
At the Kindergarten level, the academic calendar renders itself, a breach of Standard 4 of the Early Learning and Development Standards and at this stage, the learners are likely not to develop a positive and open approach to learning, Increasing School days with just 5 days break for 200 days poses health Challenges to the members of the school community (i.e teachers and students).
Expanding the school calendar presupposes that teachers and learners will spend more time than usual leaving very little room for rest, rest which is essential in improving the quality of teaching and learning.
Teachers time expansion and remunerational development
Extension of school days requires additional and longer working days which will also demand funding to cover the salaries of teachers based on ” other working conditions” as stated in the Collective Agreement for Teaching Staff with the Ghana Education Service.
The AFFED is of the view that lengthening of school days is not a Fix-All-Solution to improve the quality of education at the basic level.
Instead of additional days, the Ministry of Education, and the Ghana Education Service should expedite processes to improve the learning experience by providing textbooks and all other relevant Teaching and Learning Materials to augment teaching in schools.