Double-Track System not a silver bullet – Deputy Minister

Accra,- The Double-Track enrolment system under the Government’s flagship free Senior High School (SHS) education programme is not a silver bullet to address the nation’s educational problems, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, a Deputy Education Minister, has said.

He said at best, the Double-Track System, would be a silver lining, which would help address the challenges facing the implementation of the free SHS.

He said the Double-Track School Calendar is a temporal intervention until the needed infrastructure was put in place; stating that not all SHSs would be on the Double-Track Calendar.

Dr Adutwum made these remarks on Wednesday at a national dialogue on the Double-Track System and other education issues.

It was organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana in collaboration with STAR Ghana, UKaid, the European Union, and Civil Society Platform Ghana.

The dialogue seeks to promote stakeholder engagement and understanding of Free SHS and the Double Track System and to foster policy coherence and sustainability in Ghana’s educational sector.

It is also aimed at soliciting relevant recommendations to mitigate potential challenges that might be associated with implementation of the policies.

In attendance were key stakeholders within the education sector, including representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, teacher associations, civil society, independent experts, educationists, and parents/guardians.

The Double-Track System divides the entire student body and staff into two different tracks; while one track is in school, the other is on vacation.

Dr Adutwum said the objective of the Double-Track School Calendar was to create room for increased enrolment, reduce less class sizes, increase contact hours and increase the number of holidays; declaring that these would be achieved within existing infrastructure.

He said the Double-Track System was created to create room to absorb the extra 181,993 students into SHSs.

He said as part of efforts to contain the situation, the Government absorbed 15 private SHSs, completed 13 Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) and other GETfund projects.

Mr Ransford Tetteh, Acting Managing Director, Graphic Communications Group Limited, said education plays a vital role in a nation’s socioeconomic development.

He appealed to Parliamentarians to ensure that educational issues before the House were devoid of partisan politics.

Mr Amidu Ibrahim-Tanko, Programme Director, STAR Ghana, said education was fundamental to the development of the country; stating that “if we get the Double-Tarck right, it would be well with us”.

Dr Franklin Oduro, Director of Programmes, CDD-Ghana, said the most important thing was for the Double-Track System to deliver on quality.

Mr Charles Aheto Tsegah, a former Acting Director, Ghana Education Service, said the Double-Track System was an excellent one and described it as a shift system.

Mr Samuel Frank Dadzie, General Secretary, National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), said in implementing the Double-Track System, the government should be mindful that their membership would not accept to work on Saturdays and Sundays, adding that it was against the labour laws.

Mr Naphtali Kyei-Baffour, Public Relations Officer, Conference of Heads of Private Secondary Schools, appealed to government to consider posting some students to them, as part of measures to mitigate the problem.

Mr Ace Ankomah, a private legal practitioner, said the Double-Track System was good and must be supported by all and sundry.

Source: Ghana News Agency