The Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Education, Kwesi Oben Fosu, has allayed fears of Ghanaians who are anxious about the introduction of the ‘Double-Track System’.
According to him, the double track school calendar will create room to accommodate the increasing numbers in student enrollment under the Free SHS policy and would also reduce class sizes when implemented.
He urged Ghanaians to remain calm since the policy has come to ensure that every qualified Ghanaian student is granted access to secondary education.
“This policy is in no way a signal that the Free SHS Policy is in tatters or has suddenly been put in reverse gear. No! Just as the Free SHS Policy in its first year enabled 90,000 extra students to go to high school. The Double-Track Policy is trying to rescue some 180,000 students whose educational future could be curtailed or jeopardized,” he told Kwame Afrifa-Mensah on Happy FM’s ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ show.
He added, “The double track school calendar will create room to accommodate the increase in enrollment, reduce class sizes, increase contact hours and would increase the numbers of holidays as well.”
“Government is simply saying, these boys and girls are stranded. Let’s be creative and rescue these kids at a critical part of their lives. Instead of using classrooms for only a part of the year, why don’t we optimize the use of space by treating that part, and while the classrooms and other facilities lie idle, another batch comes in.’ It simply says, let’s not waste underutilized space while kids are stranded. Let’s use space wisely by taking turns to use the same space,” Mr. Fosu opined.
He also cited Australia, Costa Rica, Japan, United States and Kenya as countries that have adopted the double track system and was working well for them.
The Double-Track System, since was announced in July 2018, has had its fair share of criticisms and recommendations from policymakers, opposition NDC party, and ordinary Ghanaians alike.
The popular criticism has however been the supposed inability of the government to consult all relevant stakeholders ahead of the adoption and drafting of the policy.
By: Joseph Nii Ankrah