Parliament has no mandate to open or close schools - Education Ministry

Education Parliament has no mandate to open or close schools - Education Ministry
DEC 4, 2023 LISTEN

Ministry of Education has issued a challenge to the authority of Parliament concerning the decision-making process for the opening and closing of schools in the country.

The Ministry contends that Parliament lacks the mandate in this regard, asserting that the Ministry is the sole authority with the power to direct the closure or reopening of schools.

Ernest Akosa, Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, expressed this viewpoint in response to news that the Minister of Education had been summoned to Parliament on Monday, December 4, 2023.

During an interview on the Ghana Yensom Morning Show on Accra 100.5 FM, Mr Akosa questioned Parliament's jurisdiction on matters related to school operations.

He clarified that the decision to reopen Senior High School (SHS) 1 on Monday, December 4, was aligned with the Ghana Education Service's choice to revert to the old academic calendar.

Mr Akosa emphasized that these efforts were aimed at bringing order to the academic calendar and eventually phasing out the double-track system.

He appealed to parents for understanding and urged them to take advantage of the situation by allowing their wards to report for the reopening.

Acknowledging the inconvenience caused by the short notice of the reopening, Mr Akosa apologised to parents for any disruption.

In response to concerns raised by the Minority in Parliament, Speaker Alban S.K. Bagbin summoned the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, to appear before Parliament on Monday, December 4.

Speaker Bagbin proposed a shift in the reopening date to the first week of January 2024, citing the need for better preparation among parents and teachers.

The Minority MPs expressed discomfort with the initial reopening date, highlighting challenges faced by parents in preparing their children for school on short notice.

They questioned the timing of releasing school placements a few days before asking students to report on December 4.

The MPs emphasised the necessity for additional time for teachers to rest and address logistical challenges posed by the hurried reopening.

Despite these concerns, the Ministry of Education maintained that first-year SHS students should report to school on December 4, 2023.

The Ministry assured flexibility for students unable to report on the first day, ensuring that they would not lose their slots.

The Ministry argued that the academic calendar had been publicised weeks in advance, expecting parents and students to prepare accordingly.