Government backtracks on double-track vacation classes promise, blames PR gaffe

The government has denied it ever promised extra classes for the double-track students of the Free Senior High School policy each time they are on vacation.

Deputy Public Relations Officer of Education Ministry, Isaac Aseidu Odei

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry of Education, Ekow Vincent Assifuah in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on TV3 New Day Tuesday said the promise of vacation classes as was communicated in 2018 by the deputy PRO of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Isaac Asiedu Odei, was a ”mistake”.

“As Communicators or Public Relations Officers, sometimes we falter, when you falter, we either strategically call you out at the backroom discussions…”, he said.

Asked why neither the Ministry nor the GES made an official statement to correct the supposed “faltered” communication by Mr. Odei at the time, Mr. Ekow said it was the choice of the institutions to deal with the matter behind the scenes.

Extra classes in churches

Mr. Odei had said, prior to the implementation of the double-track system, that extra classes would be organized to augment the double-track system lessons so that students on vacation could be engaged while they wait their turn to go to school.

He explained the extra classes would be held in church halls, community centers and private schools across the country.

“You know we have a lot of church halls or community centres…it’s a temporary kind of structure and you know people are organising classes in some of these structures already and we can even take advantage of some private schools, when they close we can also go in there,” he explained, adding four teachers would be placed in “every district or circuit” to do the classes.

GES makes a u-turn on earlier communication

However, in another interview with TV3 Monday, February 3, PRO of the GES, Cassandra Twum Ampofo made a u-turn, denying the GES ever promised any vacation classes.

“…that we are going to teach them in churches and mosques, we never said that”, she said.

She said what the GES intends doing for students to make up for lost hours is to “give the students extra tuition” warning that no school should take advantage of the situation to organize extra classes.

She also encouraged parents to ensure their wards “study hard” while at home for vacation.

Meanwhile, reports are rife that students on the gold track have been home for close to 3 months, some of whom have reported to all kinds of jobs in a bid to raise money to pay for extra classes.

Media General’s reporter, Adwoa Owusu Adobea, spent a day with one of the students and reports on how she had spent her vacation.

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