Free SHS: 541 Senior High Schools to take part in Double track system.

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The Deputy Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Adu Twum has said that, not every SHS will be part of the yet to be implemented double track Senior High School system but rather 541 schools that will practice the system.

Dr. Adu Twum said this during a press meeting the Northern regional coordinating council in Tamale yesterday.

He explained that, the objectives of the double track system are to create room to accommodate the increase in enrolment and furthermore, reduce class sizes, will increase the contact hours between teachers and students, and increase the number of holidays. All these, he, is going to be achieved with the existing infrastructure in the SHSs
Dr. Adu Twum admitted that the Free SHS has challenges and that is the reason for the government’s swift intervention to bring to an end the problem.

Dr. Yaw Adu Twum addressing the media in Tamale.

He assured that the double track system of Free SHS will, however, increase in quality of the senior high school and asked all and sundry to embrace the system and work very hard to make sure that it succeeds.

“I am confident that the end result of the system would lead to an increase in the quality of our SHS structure. I am inviting everybody – parents, teachers, administrators, students, the Parent Teacher Associations, the Regional and District Directors of Education – to embrace this system, and work to make sure that it succeeds,” he reiterated
Background

From September this year, the government will implement the double intake system for new entrants to public SHSs.

The system is a measure to address the growing number of students benefiting from the free SHS policy.

Despite providing 96,403 mono desks, 33,171 pieces of dining hall furniture, 3,033 tables and chairs for teachers, 12,953 bunk beds, 4,335 student mattresses and 5,135 computer laboratory chairs by the government to address the infrastructural deficit over the year, it has not been enough to address all issues of infrastructure in SHSs.

According to the minister, the 2018/19 academic year is expected to witness a 31 per cent increase in the population of new students, with about 472,000 entering SHSs, and which has resulted in a deficit of some 183,000.

The new system is expected to cost GH¢323 million to fully implement.

The cost comprises GH¢267.2 million as teaching cost and GH¢55.8 million for academic interventions.

Meanwhile, since the declaration by the President, the system has met mixed reactions from Ghanaians home and abroad. Some individuals and groups have expressed support for it, others are very apprehensive of the initiative, saying it will affect the quality of education.

By: Prince Kwame Tamakloe – Kesmi News

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