General News of Wed, 25 Jul 201829
Free SHS: Shift system doesn’t help – Mahama
Former president John Mahama has once again advised the Akufo-Addo government to broadly consult for a smooth running of the Free SHS system.
Mr. Mahama is bemused over government’s decision to run “a double tracking system” from September 2018 at the Second Cycle level due to an increase in the enrolment numbers.
In a tweet, he said “it is not too late” to seek ideas from stakeholders on how best to implement the “all important free SHS programme.”
“Introducing shift system for SHS? It doesn’t help to continue to implement this all important free SHS programme on an ad hoc basis. It’s not too late to hold a comprehensive national consultation to forge a consensus on a sustainable framework for its implementation,” Mahama tweeted on Wednesday, 25 July 2018.
The government has adopted a 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.
Policy think tank IMANI has kicked against the policy.
“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.”