From September this year, the government will implement the double intake system for new entrants into public senior high schools (SHSs), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
The system, he explained, would be a measure to address the growing number of students benefitting from the free SHS policy.
“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,” the President added.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum on education at the Tamale SHS as part of his tour of the Northern Region last Sunday, the President said the 2018/19 academic year would witness a 31 per cent increase in the population of new students of about 472,000 entering SHSs and which had resulted in a deficit of some 183,000.
The new system is expected to cost GHC323 million to fully implement.
The cost comprises GHC267.2 million as teaching cost and GHC55.8 million for academic interventions.
“It is unfortunate that we have not been able to increase the infrastructure as rapidly as the number of entrants, but if you are prepared to find a way, you will find that way and we have found a way to be able to absorb this intake. We call it the Dual Intake System (DIS) that is going to allow us, on a semester basis, to address the challenge of this new population,” he added, saying: “We are doing it by, first of all, increasing the number of teachers. We are recruiting over 8,000 more teachers for the secondary schools this year than we had last year and then we are going to employ a double track school calendar system.”
The double track system, according to President Akufo-Addo, would create room to accommodate the increase in enrolment.
“It will reduce class sizes, increase the contact hours, as well as increase the number of holidays, and all this is going to be achieved with the existing infrastructure. So we are moving to this intervention to be able to accommodate this larger population of SHS students,” he explained further.
“It should be remembered that the system has been tried elsewhere and found to be successful, especially when it has led to a reduction in class sizes and an increase in the contact hours that the teachers have with their students,” he added.
He, therefore, urged teachers, administrators, parent-teacher associations (PTA) and regional and district directors of education across the country to embrace the system and work to ensure its success.
The end result, the President stated, would be an even greater output as far as quality in the country’s SHS system was concerned.