General News of Mon, 10 Sep 201815
'I have psyched up my child' - Achimota SHS parent backs Double-track system
At least 430,000 students are set to start Ghana's new Senior High School system as the Akufo-Addo government's game-changing education policies continue.
Under Ghana's double track education system, schooling now takes the form of a traffic light.
Green means go and so students with admission letters marked GREEN have begun enrolling across some 400 senior high schools selected for the new system.
Gold-coloured marks on admission letters mean get ready for November 8th entrance. But some 67,000 parents have been left red-faced as their children are still yet to secure admission even though they have qualified.
Efua (not her real name) is a "happy" fresher at Achimota school where she secured admission. She told Joy News' Maxwell Agbagba, she does not start school until November 8th because she is on the gold track.
"We have psyched her up", her father explained her daughter has accepted to start later while others begin today. It’s a small price to ensure, another equally qualified student somewhere gets the chance to go to school.
If they both go at the same time, they would have to share congested classrooms, congested bathrooms, congested dining halls and congested dormitories.
Congestion in schools is one reason offered by the Ghana Health Service for an outbreak of meningitis that killed more than half a dozen students in 2017.
That congestion was a creation of a new government policy to provide free SHS for every qualified Ghanaian student.
It is a throwback to what was thought to be a by-gone era when education was free in newly independent Ghana for a time.
More than 50 years later, an NPP government led by President Nana Akufo-Addo has dusted off an old policy and implemented it with a staggering budget, on a much wider scale involving 696 public schools with more than 390,000 teenagers.
A year into implementation, the government has pulled out another new policy of double track to check congestion.
"It is a good thing just to give an opportunity for a lot of children to attend school in an uncongested manner", the parent said.
He said scepticism that has greeted the new system was the same scepticism that greeted the introduction of the Junior High School system in 1989.
That system scrapped the O'Level and A'Level system which still brings up some nostalgia among those who believe it was better.
But the parent told Joy News "change is good" and asked Ghanaian parents to embrace it.