Beginning this academic year, the government is going to commence phasing out the double-track system in Senior High Schools (SHS) across the country.
The double-track system was introduced in 2018 to enable SHSs to absorb the ever-increasing number of students who qualify to access Free SHS Education – a flagship policy of the government.
The introduction of the double-track system sharply divided opinion in the country, but the government gave the assurance that the system was a temporary measure instituted to enable it to improve infrastructure in our schools.
Although many students benefitted from the system, other Ghanaians refused to embrace it fully and rather suggested to the government to expand existing facilities to provide accommodation for the students so that the double-track system would end.
Even though the system was intended to last between five and seven years after its introduction, the government seems to be ahead of schedule.
The government embarked on a massive expansion of facilities on secondary school campuses throughout the country, leading to the completion of a number of projects under the government’s emergency infrastructure improvement programme.
Following the completion, SHSs are now ready to phase out the system and as part of the processes, all first-year students for the 2020/2021 academic year are to be enrolled onto the single track system. Similarly, all third- and final-year students are also to revert to the single track system.
However, students entering their second year will continue with the double-track system till the end of the academic year.
According to the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Akwasi Opoku Amankwah, the gradual scrapping of the system was as a result of the completion of a number of projects in the schools in the country.
Addressing the media in Accra on Monday, to update the public on plans to reopen schools after nearly nine months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said the magnitude of projects completed had freed a lot of space which had made it possible to revert to the single track.
The Ghanaian Times commends the government for expanding the facilities to enable the Ghana Education Service to end the double-track system ahead of schedule.
We think that it is a wise decision because not only is the country not fully prepared to embrace such a system, teachers as well as parents were also unprepared for it. The introduction of the system created a lot of anxiety for a section of the public, who expressed concern about quality of education at the SHS level.
We are glad that the government has found the spaces to phase out the system to guarantee that SHS students would revert to the old system which is tried and tested.
It is our hope that with the coast cleared for the end of the system, adequate safety facilities would be provided at the schools in this COVID-19 era to ensure that the students are safe.
Furthermore, we encourage the school authorities to ensure that the students adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols to prevent the spread of the deadly disease as they welcome all students back to school for the first time in eight months.