Deputy Minister of Education in charge of pre-tertiary education, Alex Kyeremeh has ordered the Ghana Education Service (GES) to declare Election Day, December 7th an ‘off day’ for teachers and students in schools across the country.
The directive follows discussions in the media urging the Interior Ministry to defer the Farmers’ Day holiday from December 2nd to December 7th so most Ghanaians can partake in the polls.
Several members of the public have resolved not to allow their wards to go to school on the day when registered Ghanaians would queue to elect a President and Parliamentarians.
The GES following the calls in a statement called on heads of schools which would be used as polling centres to declare the day as an ‘off day’ for teachers and students.
The Deputy Education Minister, speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show, ‘Dwaso Nsem’ Wednesday said, he has upon a second thought decided to order the GES to declare December 7th an ‘off day’.
“Initially, it was declared off day for schools which would be used as polling stations, however upon second thought, we would ensure the day would be declared an off day for all schools…,” he said.
The education ministry and GES, he said, cannot declare the Election Day a public holiday as the law only allows them to call a day off when they think they can’t work because of an emergency.
“We have agreed that the day should be declared a holiday for schools so teachers and pupils can have opportunity to partake in the elections…it is in accordance with laid down principles and rules…I have instructed that it should be done and I hope the Director General of Education Service does that…,” he said.
Alex Kyeremeh continued that the ministry and GES upon careful assessment of the situation in Ghana after the elections would decide whether the day after the elections would be ‘conducive for teaching and learning’.
“The following day won’t be declared off day as well but we would monitor the situation and decide if it would be conducive for teaching and learning…,” he said.