The General Secretary for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia says his party will revoke the Free SHS Double-Tracking System policy when they are voted back into power in 2020.
Describing the policy as a ‘Shambolic’ one – he said his party will not hesitate to scrap it without even reviewing it.
“When we come to power in 2020, the first thing we will do is, we will abolish the double-tracking system. Bad planning is what has created the impression of overcrowding in schools,” he said in an interview.
The Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration recently adopted the double-tracking system to accommodate the increasing number of students in public schools under the Free SHS policy which was introduced in September 2017.
Currently about 362,118 first-year students in public SHSs in the country are benefiting from the policy, with 117,692 of them being day students and 244,426 as boarders.
Due to the increase in enrollment in 2017, the Education Ministry, led by Member of Parliament (MP) for Manyhia South, Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, popularly called NAPO, has projected that enrollment for 2018 may hover around 472,730 against a reported available seats of 290,737, leaving a gap of 181, 993.
The Ministry has pointed out that the double-tracking system shall offer students more instructional and contact hours with teachers as well as make better use of the available classroom space.But the opposition NPP and its ‘surrogates,’ have openly kicked against the move.
Ex-President John Mahama has also condemned the move, saying that “Introducing shift system for SHS doesn’t help to continue to implement this all-important free SHS programme on an ad-hoc basis.”