General News of Tue, 31 Jul 201810

Total overhaul of Free SHS crucial to its sustenance – Prof. Addai Mensah

Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ivan Addai Mensah has called for a review of the Free Senior High School policy.

According to him, the implementation of the double track system should just be an interim measure as government undertakes a total overhaul of the policy.

Government has announced that it is set to roll out a double Tracking System which 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.

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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.

But Prof. Addai Mensah has urged government not to see the double-track system as solution to the many challenges facing the Free SHS policy.

“This measure we’ve taken may solve the problem for sometime, we shouldn’t look at it as permanent solution we should go back and sit at the drawing board and look at the whole issue again. Possibly not just dismiss what Finance Minister said, whether is cabinet decision or not cabinet decision and let’s see whether there could be another alternative without abandoning the central principle of Free education” he told Joy News.

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