Teachers must get ready for a tough time with rusty learners when school reopens. So far learners have been away from their books for 136 days after schools closed down on 16th March 2020.
Most learners at the Pre-Tertiary level in Ghana have been home since the Mid March 2020 and that number of days away from school will create a difficult situation for teachers.
The is 3264 hours or 19 weeks and 3 days or 37.16% of 2020 without school activities. At home, some students who are fed up with staying home wear their school uniforms, carry their back packs for a whiles. That is a sign of being tired staying home without the chance to access education.
Although some children are privileged to have access to online tuition, many parents and guardians cannot afford internet services for such a tuition not to even talk about paying a teacher to teach the child online.
With the easing of restrictions, some parents have engaged the services of teachers for private tuition. That is a great move however, it is a rare opportunity of the hundreds of thousands of Ghanaian students.
These children have lost touch with academic work in all regards. Don’t be surprised if a lower primary pupil for instance should forget the name of his or her teacher and the Basic English, Mathematics and our World Our People lessons or if he or she can not remember the engaging son…”When I stand up…when I sit down…or faaaaaan….tastic.
Don’t blame them for they have been at home from Monday, 16 March 2020 to today Wednesday, 29 July 2020. That is 136 days of no academic work of any kind for many of them.
School should have vacated by today for the third term for the 2019/2020 academic year with parents preparing to buy books for the next academic year 2020/2021 in September 2020.
But we are still stuck at the mid of the second term of the 2019/2020 academic year for Preschool to JHS 2 and for Green Track and some Gold Track students of the Senior High Schools.
To stay away from learning, friends, school related activities, the teachers who they loved to see everyone morning for 4 months, 14 days should surely make your learners rusty naturally. The relationship and bond is gone for now.
Most of the students do not watch the lessons provided by the government through the GL TV. The reality is that, the children prefer entertainment in this stress moments than tuition on TV they are never used to.
Teachers, the reality is that, you will face the worse students you have ever imagined since you took up this profession. Should the best students in your class disappoint you, take it cool with them. For the average and below average, encourage them.
When school reopens, you, the teachers shall become the most important government and national asset to rescue not only the academic calendar but also the students or pupils that will be entrusted under your tutelage.
We call on our teachers to have patience with the learners and to like the good shepherd, shepherd the sinking rusty ship to shore.
It is going to be tough even for teachers but, ones a teacher, always a teacher. Learners will need more attention, encouragement, direction and love to pick up from where they left off.
Nearly five months gap has been created by the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana and they could stay at home till September.
It is anticipated that should schools finally reopen, vacations will be just a few days to one week or not at all to bridge the gap and recover lost days.
Another option on the table would be to vacate schools ones, every two terms for one and a half years to reverse the academic year to its original state.
The Ghana Education Service will also have the option of annulling the current academic year. Should this path be taken, the options left will be to either promote our learners to the next stage or for them to start the academic year all over. The former would save parents from buying new educational materials.
However, completing the second term and starting the 3rd term with less days for vacation in between them or no vacation looks more visible and reasonable.
No matter the final decision, the education of our children has been impacted already and we will need our dedicated teachers to lead the battle as front line workers in our efforts to put the academic calendar back in focus, shape our learners again into their original state and progress with academic work.
It looks like, it will be better to continue from where we left off than to attempt to start all over. The COVID-19 and its impact on children’s’ education is greater than you can imagine. We will need our teachers to teach the right things the right way the smart way.
Let us inspire our children and teachers when schools reopen for our children need it haven become rusty after staying home for so long. The GES and MoE will have to show great leadership so that we can rescue the education chip of Ghana in post COVID-19 era. In the Post covid19 era rusty learners need sharp teachers.