Should students be promoted automatically to the next grade level? Plus, two other exciting findings...

Welcome to our weekly blog for Teacher Tapp Ghana!

Every Monday we summarise our most surprising and interesting survey findings from the week before. This weekly blog provides an easy way for you to learn about the experiences and opinions of teachers across Ghana.

Please encourage your colleagues to use the Teacher Tapp app to keep engaged with education even when they’re not teaching. Your responses are also a vital data source that GES will be using to help in their decision-making around best policies and approaches to managing the current crisis.

If you’d like to bring more teachers to Teacher Tapp, please share this blog with your colleagues and encourage them to use the download links at the bottom of the page. In the mean time, here are this week’s intriguing findings…

1. Should students be promoted automatically to the next grade level?

The academic year has been badly affected by the emergence of the deadly Coronavirus. Schools around the world were closed down as a result and only a few schools have been able to find a way to work around their initial academic calendar during this pandemic. 
Save the university students, the SHS 2 & 3 students, and the JHS 2 &3 students, a large percentage of the K-12 category have not been able to find a way to assess and grade their students to the next level. This week, we wanted to find out what the educational stakeholders thought of the pending promotional exams. 
57% of our respondents agreed that the promotional exams should not be written, but rather, students should merit an automatic promotion to the next grade level due to the teaching and learning lag created by the pandemic. While 24% disagreed on this topic, 16% of our respondents also decided to remain neutral on the topic. 
Schools are set to reopen in January, and educational stakeholders are working behind the scenes to ensure that the best of alternatives are generated for teaching and learning to transition smoothly.

2. Are teachers ready to get onboard the school train?

It has been almost 10 months since schools were closed down due to the pandemic. A lot of mixed feelings have stemmed from the proposed resumption of schools in January from the public and educational stakeholders. 
When we asked if teachers are ready themselves to get back to school, 96% of our respondents responded in the affirmative. The zeal to get back to school is understandable especially at this time when observing the COVID-19 protocols have proved to be very effective in battling the pandemic. 
Another reason is that the long period of staying at home has rekindled the desire for teachers to get back to what they love doing: teaching!

3. Will social distancing  be a major challenge when school resumes?

It has become obvious that the most effective way of battling the pandemic is by observing the protocols established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and our local health organizations. Notable amongst these protocols are the mandatory wearing of face masks and frequent washing of hands. This week, we conducted a survey to find out which of the established protocols will be difficult to adhere to when school resumes. 

The outcome of the survey provided ranging from the most difficult to the less difficult to practice protocols. We found that, observing the social distancing rule was going to be a major challenge as schools plan to reopen. This may be due to the number of students in each class, which averages between 30 – 50. Schools may want to run shifts or devise another strategy to remedy this challenge. The government and other key stakeholders in the educational sphere will also put in measures that schools can adopt to work around this challenge. 

4. Finally, we know you’re finding our daily readings useful, so here are all of the ones from last week…

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