The good news is that the academic calendar has been reset.

 The education sector is one of those sectors that was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. The path of destruction created by the pandemic indeed continues to plague several countries. The pandemic has had a major impact on the school year in general, even though schools have been completely closed. Schools have been resorting to online learning in an attempt to keep up the pace, which has resulted in a widening of differences between urban and rural pupils' educational outcomes. While many countries have recovered from the impact of the pandemic, others are still having difficulty getting back on track.  For instance, the country continues to write the Ghana Only Version of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination for School Candidates (WASSCE-SC), while the academic year is yet to be reverted to the normal May/June and September/October academic year. The result is that managers of private preparatory schools are not able to estimate when a term or semester begins or ends.

In addition, the situation led to students being unable to write their end-of-semester exams due to a sudden announcement that they would be closed and schools were not able to carry them out. However, on September 13, 2023, the Ghana Education Service (GES) issued a memo to all regional directors of education on the decision of management to revert the academic calendar of basic schools to the pre-COVID-19 era. Consequently, the first term of the 2023-2024 academic year shall start on October 3, 2023, by the revised calendar. It is not only management, teachers, and students who are pleased by the news; it's also parents who have been forced to deal with unforeseen expenditures and other logistical difficulties because there hasn't been a regular school schedule. In Brytgh's view, this change will provide parents, carers, and education authorities with a way of planning effectively as opposed to the period after COVID-19, when it was almost impossible because of repeated changes. The COVID-19 era has indeed had a significant impact on all stakeholders within this sector.

 We support calls for an evaluation mechanism to quantify the negative impact of the COVID-19 era and how it might affect students, while we welcome the reversal. This is particularly important in the case of senior high schools, where final-year students who will be writing the WASSCE SC may have a relatively short time to prepare for their end examinations with this reversal. We agree with the organization that such an evaluation would be helpful so that the GES, and for that matter, the Ministry of Education should take remedial action and where there is a need for adjustment, that is done. In diagnosing the impact this reversal would have on the final-year students, BrytGh proposes an intensive crash program for the students so that they are not exceptionally disadvantaged at the end of the day. Strangely, this is not the first time a crash course for final-year students in our country will be organized. In the year 2020, when schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the final year students were recalled in less than four months to write both the Basic Education Certificate Examination and the WASSCE.

 Admittedly, it's natural that some of us will be disadvantaged as a result of each step we take in our lives and so is this reversal, but the kind of measures taken can mitigate these effects. In this context, parents must have an important role to play in the whole process as they will help students and their respective school authorities reach their full potential. So, are we learning any lesson from COVID-19 as we're pleased to see that the semester is reversed?

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