IMANI – Free SHS Double Tracking System Needless

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Policy think tank, IMANI Africa, has described as needless government’s decision to introduce double tracking system in Senior High Schools to accommodate the surge in students’ population following the introduction of free SHS last year.

A total of 362,118 first-year students from public Senior High Schools across the country are currently benefiting from the government’s fee-free education policy since its inception. Of the above figure, 117,692 are day students with 244,426 being boarders.

Based on last year’s enrollment, the government has projected enrollment figures for 2018 to stand at 472,730 against available seats of 290, 737 leaving a gap of 181, 993 to be created in order to accommodate the expected number of enrollment.

The double tracking system, according to the Ministry of Education will offer students more instructional and contact hours with teachers.

“There is nothing emergency about a double tracking system. It is a system used around the world and it is tested,” Deputy Education Minister Dr. Adu Twum told Francis Abban on Morning Starr Monday, July 23, 2018.

For IMANI, however, the new system is needless.

“It doesn’t make sense,” the President of IMANI Africa Franklin Cudjoe stated on Morning Starr.

He continued, “Why don’t you if you really insist on doing this…use a voucher system so that you give vouchers to parents up to a certain amount to choose which schools they [parents] want [their kids] to go to.

“Education is not like vaccination you give, you have to prepare the environment. So what? People go in and then some people sit at home and then what happens? Is it a shift system? At IMANI we are just fed up.”

The Deputy Education Minister, however, disagreed with the position assumed by IMANI, noting that the new system is necessary to contain the surge in enrollment due to free SHS.

“It is a time-tested practice used around the world whenever there’s a surge in enrolment. That’s a stop-gap measure used around the world it is time-tested,” said Dr. Adutwum on Morning Starr.

Double Track System

Double Track System will be similar to the semester mode of learning applicable in the universities at the SHS level. With this system, each track will be in school for specific days for each semester and go on vacation and come back for the second semester.

While the first track is in school, the second track will be on vacation and vice versa. The objectives of the Double-track School Calendar are to create room to accommodate the increase in enrolment, reduce class sizes, increase contact hours and to increase the number of holidays.

The Double-track calendar is an intervention that allows schools to accommodate more students within the same facility and is often motivated by its potential to improve overcrowding as well as to save costs relative to new school construction in the short term. It is very popular in Australia, Costa Rica, Japan, some schools in the US and Kenya.



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