By Adu Koranteng
President Nana Akufo-Addo has defended his administration’s decision to roll out a multi-track intake system for Senior High Schools beginning this in September.
According to him, his critics will be put to shame when the system is finally rolled out successfully in September.
The multi-track system is to mitigate the infrastructure deficit due to the increased number of persons benefiting from the Free SHS policy.
Speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people of Wa on his final leg of the Regional tour, President Akufo-Addo said the new system is a credible solution that must be embraced by all.
“I am sure that in two or three years, the comments made by the representatives of the teachers about the quality of examination passes will be a thing of the past. So I want you to support this dual intake system as being a very efficient way of dealing with this large class thing,” the President added.
This new system will run in all the categories A and B senior high schools in the country.
The new programme creates a calendar of two semesters in a year for the SHS 1 class, containing 81 days per each semester and 41 days of vacation for a sandwich class.
Over 8,000 teachers are being recruited to handle the sandwich classes, so teachers are not be deprived of their holidays.
Under the new system, teaching hours are increased 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 single-track system, to 1,134 hours per year under the proposed double-track system.
The new system is expected to cost GH₵323 million to implement fully.
GH₵267.2 million of this amount will go into teaching costs and GH₵55.8 million for academic interventions.
Without the double-track system, the government will require GH₵1.3 billion to accommodate the increase in numbers.
Among the infrastructure needs are 622 six-unit classroom blocks at the cost of GH₵404 million, 181,993 student desks costing GH₵81.6 million, and 3,730 teachers’ furniture estimated at GH₵3.6 million.
The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has said the expected compensation for partaking in the Dual Intake System for secondary education is not enough.
“The government has indicated that each student will pay GHc50 or the price per student on the additional workload will be GH₵50 per semester that the children will be in school. But when you do this; when you break it down, you realize that this is actually no money. [Whether] monthly or daily, you see that it is no money” Angel Carbonu, NAGRAT’s President, told Citi News.
NAGRAT has cautioned government against implementing the new system for secondary education without consulting stakeholders in education.