Editorial: A letter to the Director General of the Ghana Education Service – P.K Sarpong

Dear DG,

Before I permit the effusive outbursts eating me up to force themselves out, I would like to state that I am writing this as a party person, and that these opinions bear no relationship with what I do for this administration.

I would like to believe that as a technocrat, certain decisions and policies from your outfit are without political considerations, but I would wish to emphasize that certain policies from your outfit are proving to be inimical to the health of the party in government.

The sentiments being expressed by the general public are indicative of the fact that they are unhappy with some decisions of the Ghana Education Service. Such concerns, if not addressed, have the potential to railroad us into opposition.

I am an ardent believer in the saying that life is change and change itself is inevitable. I am also familiar with the fact that times change and must be accompanied by systems and structures.

I have observed, lately, some important changes that have been brought into the education sector from your outfit. Most of these changes/reforms were long overdue.

I wouldn’t want to overburden you with copious examples to drum home this point. I must also admit that not all of these new reforms have met the happy agreement of many a Ghanaian, especially those in the teaching profession.

As a former teacher, my colleagues in the system constantly draw my attention to certain happenings in the system.

Out of the numerous worthful and applaudable items introduced by the Ghana Education Service, two key ones have caused us pains.

The first one had to do with the directive to schools to the effect that parents/pupils were not to pay for printing of examination papers, a directive whose outcome proved problematic. The administration was bashed mercilessly for the consequential outcomes of that directive.

We are yet to recover from that episode, but another issue has reared its ugly head. Though people are expected to pay particular attention to the changes in our curriculum, the decision to change school uniforms has dominated media headlines.

Social media is awash with negative commentaries about this particular matter. Sir, kindly take a second look at this particular line item. Tongues are wagging asking about the relevance of that in the new curriculum. I get the impression that the new uniforms will be purchased by parents. If this is indeed so, one may ask why uniforms at the S.H.S levels are free but these ones aren’t.

In my view, the newly formulated curriculum would have been a perfect document without the school uniforms bit. This, judging from the discussions and debates it has generated, would have made the curriculum a perfect one. Kindly take a second look at this decision.

P.K. Sarpong, Whispers from the Corridors of the Thinking Place.

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