The double-track senior high school (SHS) system will not collapse Ghana’s education system as being claimed by the “professional Jeremiahs,” President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
In the Jewish and Christian religions, Jeremiah was a Hebrew prophet who said that Jerusalem would be defeated and that God would become angry with the Jews and punish them. His name has since become synonymous to doomsayers. The Longman Dictionary, for instance, defines a Jeremiah as a pessimistic person, who always says that bad things are going to happen.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund) has secured a $500 million facility for the construction of new schools, and the expansion of infrastructure in existing ones, to help cope with the rising numbers” of students in SHSs due to the free secondary education policy which saw 90,000 more students enrolled last year and 180,000 this year.
The double-track system, according to the President, who is on a four-day visit to the Central Region, “will not destroy our education system as the professional Jeremiahs would want you to believe.”
On the contrary, the President said, “this system will reduce class sizes, it will increase contact hours between teachers and students as well as increase the number of holidays.”
President Akufo-Addo admitted that: “Every new initiative that is rolled out will experience hitches and challenges, however, I’m inspired by the famous Chinese adage which says: ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.’
“We have taken that first step in Ghana and we shall deal with the challenges.
“Today, any young boy from any part of the country who applies himself diligently in spite of his circumstances can dream of also becoming an Odadee” – the revered moniker for old students of one of Ghana best schools, Presbyterian Secondary School, Legon (PRESEC).