President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has chided pessimists of the double track education system and gave the assurance that the policy would be implemented in September this year.
He expressed confidence about the successful implementation of the policy and called on Ghanaians to embrace it saying “I am confident that the end result of the system would lead to increase in quality of our Senior High School structure”.
“The free Senior High School (SHS) policy has come to stay. Contrary to what the motivated propagandists and the professional naysayers would have you believe, free SHS is going to be a permanent feature of the educational architecture of our country”, the President added.
Speaking at the 70th Speech and Prize Giving Day Celebration of the Ghana National College in the central region on Saturday, July 28, 2018, the President said one of the objectives of the double track system was to create room to accommodate the increase in the free SHS enrolment.
Why double track system
He said the government could not wait to address all the issues of infrastructure before continuing with the free SHS policy adding that “despite providing 96,403 mono desks, 33,171 pieces of dining hall furniture, 3,033 tables and chairs for teachers, 12,953 bunk beds, 4,335 student mattresses and 5,135 computer laboratory chairs to address the infrastructural deficit over the year, it has not been enough to address all issues of infrastructure”.
“In the 2018/19 academic year which begins in September, 472,000 new students, that is an increase of 31 per cent that will be admitted into senior high schools”, he added.
President Akufo-Addo said with the existing infrastructure, the double track system would help reduce class sizes, increase contact hours between teachers and students and increase the number of holidays.
He said the government would recruit over 8,000 more teachers in 2018 than it did in 2017 to ensure the success of the system.
The president therefore, urged teachers, administrators, Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) and all Regional and District Directors of Education across the country to embrace the system and work to ensure its success.
President Akufo-Addo said rekindling patriotism in the future leaders imposed a duty on all to embrace the essence of what it meant to be Ghanaian and to love Ghana.
He said Ghanaians must believe that the nation could make its own contribution in the growth of world civilization and be able to generate wealth and prosperity for the masses of its people and build a Ghana beyond aid.
“All of us gathered here and millions out there inside our borders and outside must share this love for the place where all of us feel completely at home”, the President said.
Students and teachers
The President called on students to cease the opportunities technology had to offer saying “you live in more interesting times than your predecessors where technology has made life much easier."
He implored them to study hard and refrain from doing anything that could hinder their prospects of a bright future.
“Under the same time try and make the best use of your recreation and leisure time in order to become well-rounded .
President Akufo-Addo commended management and staff of the college for their efforts at ensuring the success of the school and implored them to rise to the challenge of rekindling the spirit of patriotism.
The President said he would see to the regularization of the school’s title to its land to prevent encroachment as it was long overdue.