The Ministry of Education has said the introduction of the double tracking system in the implementation of free SHS will offer students more instructional and contact hours with teachers.
“There is nothing emergency about a double tracking system,” stated a Deputy Education Minister, Monday on Morning Starr. “It is a system used around the world and it is tested,” Dr. Yaw Osei Adu Twum added.
Dr. Twum’s comments were in reaction to criticism of the initiative by former deputy Education Minister Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa who described it as a “shift system.”
“The government doesn’t want to call this double tracking system a shift system, meanwhile it is one,” Okudjeto Ablakwa told Francis Abban on Morning Starr.
He added, “Come September, it means a batch of students will go to school while others wait. What will those who will be waiting be doing as they wait? With this new system, government will have to pay fees twice but at what cost? Is it at the cost of quality or what?”
But in his reaction, Dr. Twum argued that “This new initiative [double tracking system] will give students more instructional and contact time with teachers [as] the congestion issues in the schools will be addressed with this system as well.”
“The vast of majority of our youth are willing to get the best for themselves and this double tracking system will help them. The number of children who otherwise stayed at home because they failed and have passed, will be happy to be part of this major initiative as they will get to be in school,” he added.
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 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.