The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has admitted that the double-track system which was introduced to resolve some challenges associated with the flagship Free Senior High School Policy is one of the complex killer problems his Ministry is currently facing.
According to him, he does not get headaches from the problems associated with the Free Senior High School as they are technical which require a good manager to handle, but the same cannot be said of the double track, TVET Reforms and 19 Bills which are about to be piloted in Parliament.
“People will see education as very complex but you have to break it down to management decisions, if you have to deal with the technical problems and then really complex killer problems like double-track and TVET Reforms and about 19 bills we are about piloting in Parliament; those are the complex killers,” he admitted.
He stressed that “the Free SHS’s are technical problems and they don’t give me headaches; the double-track is a complicated problem, I have to think, but the Free SHS is a technical one which any good manager can do.”
Addressing a gathering at the Danquah Institute's Leadership Series as the main speaker on the theme “World Class Education An Imperative For The Next Generation Of Leaders”, Dr. Opoku Prempeh disclosed that the double-track is a complicated problem which advanced planning is required and infrastructural building needed to start.
“The double-track is a complicated problem which you need to plan ahead and start the infrastructural building, and the TVET Reform is a killer; we are still even negotiating with donor partners for their support. So that is when you are entrusted in education field,” he confessed.
He, however, mentioned that in spite of the complicated nature of the double track, the Akufo-Addo government is determined to make quality education accessible to all Ghanaian children irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds.
Double-track system modalities
Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, at the beginning of the programme said that only 400 out of the estimated 670 SHSs would run the double-track system for the 2018/2019 academic year, with the system expected to ease congestion in classrooms.
It is believed that over 8,000 teachers are being recruited to handle the sandwich classes so that teachers would not be deprived of their holidays.
Under the new system, teaching hours are due to increase from six hours per day to eight hours per day.
Teaching hours are expected to increase from 1,080 hours per year under the current trimester system to 1,134 hours per year under the proposed double-track system.
The new system is expected to cost GH¢323 million for full implementation.
Accordingly, about GH¢267.2 million of this amount would cover teaching costs and GH¢55.8 million for academic interventions.
The controversial double-track system, which seeks to ease congestion in public senior high schools (SHSs), commenced on September 1, as first-year students reported to their various schools.