The Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) welcomes the decision of the Ministry of Education to adopt a double tracking system for students who will be admitted into SHS1 in September for the 2018/2019 academic year.
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.
Based on last year’s enrollment, government has projected 2018 SHS enrollment as 472,730 students 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 new system will therefore provide the available seats, reduce the number of teaching days from 180days to 162 days a year, increase teaching hours from 1,080 hours to 1,134 hours a year, increase vacation days for students and teachers from 84days a year to 112 days a year.
IFEST said it believes that the potential increase in SHS enrolments in September 2018 resulting from the high number of 2018 BECE candidates requires government to implement innovative measures that ensure that no qualified BECE candidate is denied access to secondary education on the basis of infrastructure deficits.
“IFEST is aware of the plethora of empirical evidence of how such school calendar system has produced improved achievement rate in many cases better than the traditional calendar structure including reduced teacher stress and decreased the likelihood that students will become stressed, or drop out, and may lead to better student retention.
“Besides, the double tracking system has the propensity of making optimal use of existing infrastructure,” its founder Prince H. Armah said in a statement.
He added: “IFEST, however, calls on government to create more tracks by opting for multi tracking system, with 3 or 4 tracks instead. IFEST also wish to urge the Ministry of Education to intensify its public education on the policy and continue its stakeholder consultations, whilst expediting action in recruiting adequate teachers for the smooth implementation of the new system.
“We wish to indicate our readiness to collaborate with government in any means possible to ensure an effective implementation of the policy.”
Source: Starr fm