The introduction of the double track system is the latest reminder for the social commentator, Sydney Casely-Hayford that politicians have ruined Ghana’s education system.
“My view of all this that is going on is maybe simplistic… I think the politicians have messed up the education system,” he said on The Big Issue.
“Both the NPP and the NDC who have run the educational system have messed it up completely. They have messed it up to the point where they are jaw-jawing over who did what and who didn’t do what.”
The double track system for secondary schools is being implemented in response to the infrastructure challenges facing secondary education because of the year-old Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
The double track system is envisioned to sustain enrollment, reduce class sizes and engage students on a semester basis.
Mr. Casely-Hayford remarked that “it is not a crime not to anticipate something that you are not ready for.”
But he lamented that successive governments have relegated educationists and other experts in the field of education.
He recalled the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration under President Kufuor’s introduction of the four-year Senior High School programme in 2007.
However, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) reverted to the 3-year system after it regained power in 2009.
“The three-year for year-thing when it was raging was a disaster. It didn’t matter what people said; what the technocrats said, what the experts said and how the educationist put it; neither party was prepared to listen,” Mr. Casely-Hayford stated.
“Politicians in having their way in order to score points have completely alienated those who know better and those who can appreciate and understand what has to be done.”
How the double track system will work
This new system will run in all the categories A and B senior high schools in the country.
The new programme creates a calendar of two semesters in a year for the SHS 1 class, containing 81 days per each semester and 41 days of vacation for a sandwich class.
Over 8,000 teachers are being recruited to handle the sandwich classes, so teachers are not be deprived of their holidays.
Under the new system, teaching hours are increased from six hours per day to eight hours per day.
Teaching hours are expected to increase from 1,080 hours per year under the current single-track system, to 1,134 hours per year under the proposed double-track system.
The new system is expected to cost GH₵323 million to implement fully.
GES releases SHS placement for double track system
The Ghana Education Service (GES) has released the placements of 423,134 students who have successfully made it under the 2018 Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).
This is out of 521,710 total registered candidates. It means 67,382 could not be placed under the system.
The over 400,000 will also begin the double track system introduced in selected Senior High Schools by government.
List of 400 Senior High Schools released for double track system
Already, government has released a list of Senior High Schools that will be captured under the much touted double-track system of enrollment.
400 out of the 696 public SHSs have been selected to operate the system.
According to the list, the double intake will bring the total of newly proposed enrollment to 387, 592 students, with 193,796 as the total double intake per track.