ISODEC criticises gov’t over double-track for SHSs

Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) has raised concerns about what it believes is the hasty implementation process of the double-track system for Senior High Schools (SHSs).

“The speed with which government is trying to introduce the two-track SHS system i.e., two months from now, without any meaningful broad stakeholder consultations in consonance with the principles of good governance is worrying,” the governance and human rights non-governmental organisation criticised the education ministry in a press statement.

ISODEC also said in the release issued in Accra yesterday that the hurried implementation of the double-track semester programme was characteristic of many policies by the Akufo-Addo administration, warning that it was bad for sustainability of the policies.

“We often get the impression that, some of these policies are not properly thought through. Several of them have no proper and publicly available policy papers backing them. Examples are: ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’, ‘One Constituency- One Million Dollars’, ‘Leveraging Ghana’s Bauxite for infrastructure’ and the ‘Free SHS’ programme. It is common knowledge that the policy papers for these and other announced programmes are still being worked on,” ISODEC stated.

Government is finalising processes to rollout the double-track system in September in a bid to increase enrollment into its free SHS education programme.

Infrastructural challenges with public senior high school worsened with the implementation of the free SHS policy last year, and many see the double-track system as evidence that Akufo-Addo’s flagship education policy was not thought through properly.

The huge numbers of Junior High School (JHS) graduates enrolling for the next level of education have overwhelmed government. Over 400,000 JHS graduates have flooded limited public senior high schools since 2017.

The comments by ISODEC on the double-track system are similar to concerns raised by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) and the National Graduate Teachers Association (NAGRAT).

Both institutions faulted the education ministry for failing to engage education stakeholders before deciding to implement the system.

The double year-round system divides the entire student body and staff into two different tracks. So while one track is in school, the other is on vacation.

The rotation sequence will depend on the year-round calendar being used. In Ghana, the school calendar starts from September and ends in April with three

different terms.

The first term is from September to December, the second term starts in January and ends in April while the third term is from April/May to July.

Furthermore, every semester will be 80 days for the two tracks. For one semester, every track will be in school for 40 days then go for a break for 40 days.

 

Story: News Desk

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