Wednesday , April 1 2020
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Celebrated Ghanaian literary personality, Ama Ata Aidoo has expressed her incredulity at extra and vacation classes organised for students in many of Ghana’s schools.

She described them as a symbol of the country’s broken educational system and an indication that the schools were not competent enough to perform their core duties.

Photo credit: Nana Kofi Acquah

“Those extra and vacation classes which are run off school premises are bad enough. When they are organized by the schools themselves, they become almost evil: a confession of the schools’ inadequacy at handling their core mandate,” Ama Ata Aidoo said in a Facebook post.According to her, the schools take advantage of the parents’ eagerness to see their children perform well by putting these classes in place and setting increasingly exorbitant fees.

Ama Ata Aidoo, who served as Education Minister in the Rawlings administration, added that the huge costs incurred by parents who have to pay for these classes in and out of school did not match the output of the students.

“The damage [extra and vacation classes] do to the young people whose parents can’t afford them is so big that it is frightening….Sometimes, with excursions and other recreational activities thrown in, on-campus vacation classes are a thinly-veiled blackmail. To get anxious parents to pay huge sums to have their youngsters return to school to play with their friends!”

‘Rise in Extra classes worrying’ 

In 2015, then Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman, expressed concerns about the rise in the number of extra classes organised for pupils by teachers and head teachers in the country, saying the pupils did not need those classes.

She noted that the time table for each term had been structured to cover the entire academic calendar and as such the pupils did not need the extra classes

 Below is Ama Ata Aidoo’s full post

SUMMER CLASSES & SUMMER CAMPS?

The Ministry of Education (MINED) & Ghana Education Service (GES), SUMMER classes? Whose summer? Where is Ghana on the map? Please, stop the confusion creeping into the Ghana education system. Already, the system as it is currently run provides little real education & too much miseducation anyway. Ghana’s children deserve better.

Besides some of us are convinced that the emergence of the extra and vacation classes phenomenon is a symbol of a broken education system. The damage they do to the young people whose parents can’t afford them is so big that it is frightening. Those extra and vacation classes which are run off school premises are bad enough. When they are organized by the schools themselves, they become almost evil: a confession of the schools’ inadequacy at handling their core mandate. Sometimes, with excursions and other recreational activities thrown in, on-campus vacation classes are a thinly-veiled blackmail. To get anxious parents to pay huge sums to have their youngsters return to school to play with their friends!

Then recently, we learned of a SUMMER camp at Wesley Girls High School, to which they invited the Chief Justice to speak?! I fear this is beyond comment.

source: educationghana.net

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