General News of Thu, 26 Jul 201813
NPP’s poor planning cause of double-track system - Ablakwa
Former Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says poor planning by the Akufo-Addo-led government is the cause of the introduction of the two-track senior high school system.
According to him, the government is rushing the system through without proper stakeholder consultation, a situation he says will affect the system eventually.
“I think the government has been forced to introduce the double-track system as a result of poor planning and lack of foresight. This system will affect quality of education and will put pressure on facilities in various schools,” the North Tongu MP said.
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa was speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show Dwaso Nsem Thursday.
Government has adopted a double tracking system in some Senior High Schools to accommodate the surge in students’ population, following the introduction of free SHS last year.
The system is expected to help government accommodate the large number of students that will enrol onto the free SHS policy, beginning this September.
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.
But Mr Ablakwa believes the hasty implementation of the policy [Free SHS] has caused the current mess in the education sector.
He indicated that the government failed to listen to cautions in the run-up to implementing the Free SHS policy last year.
According to him, the best way to save the policy is to have a national debate and take on criticisms in good faith.
He also accused government appointees, especially the Education Ministry, of misleading the President as far as the enrolment figures are concerned.
“I think Akufo Addo’s appointees are not being truthful to him. They have ended up deceiving the President and misleading him with figures of enrolment and are now saying they need a track system. I think it’s useless,” he said.
The Chairman for National Council for Curriculum Assessment, Kingsley Osei Kwarteng, has, however, urged critics to rather laud the government for introducing the system.
He said the adoption of the double intake system would provide the government with the capacity to deal with a large number of students who would come out from junior to senior high schools.