The implementation of the controversial double track system in some 400 Senior High Schools in Ghana begins today, Tuesday, September 11, 2018.
The system according to government is to ease congestion in public Senior High Schools (SHSs) across the country, as first-year students across the country reported to their various schools on Tuesday.
The new system, which was created due to an increase in enrollment is expected to create space to accommodate more students, reduce class size, increase contact hours and increase the number of holidays.
The Rite News team on Tuesday visited selected Senior High Schools within the Lower Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo Municipalities and the Asuogyaman and Upper Manya Krobo Districts in the Eastern Region.
The purpose of the visit was to afford the team the opportunity to observe firsthand the situation on the various campuses as the double track system rolls across the country.
The team visited three schools in the Lower Manya Krobo municipal; Akuse Methodist Technical, Manya Krobo Senior High, and Krobo Girls Senior High School.
In Yilo Krobo, the team visited the Yilo Krobo Senior High School, Yikrosec while it made a stopover at the Akwamuman Senior High School to access how students on both the Green and Gold Tracks were filing their registration processes.
However, those with Gold Track, according to the Education Ministry, are not due to start school today.
As such, they are to verify their status or undertake their registration process from now to November 8, 2018. Those with no track would resume as normal students (first years and continuing students)
At the Yilo Krobo Senior High School, Rite news’ Austin Ofori Addo reports that the school was expecting 1162 students instead of the earlier projected number of 1148.
An administrator at the school, Mr. Fudzi, intimated this to Rite news in an interview on the situation.
Students and parents during the registration process at Yikrosec
He added that while the school is ready infrastructure wise, challenges of bed insufficiency required to furnish the various dormitories.
At the Krobo Girls Senior High School, parents and wards were observed frustrated as they underwent the registration procedures, reports Joyce Bedeley.
The situation compelled the parents to urge government to ensure that students on the green track got priority in addressing the challenges bedeviling the system since they are starting the first track.
Recommended Textbooks to be brought by parents at Krobo Girls
Meanwhile, the situation from the Akuse Methodist Technical Senior High as reported by Frank Arthur was not very different from the other centers the team visited with most parents expressing frustration at the slow pace of the exercise.
Prince Paul Amuzu reports from the Manya Krobo Senior High school that the school which hitherto admitted between 850-900 students was expecting a total of 1774 students for both tracks with 752 on the green track and 622 on Gold.
Infrastructure wise, the school is set for the program.
At the Asesewa Senior High School, Sylvester Tetteh reports that parents who came to register their wards expressed concern that though the policy will relieve them, government should make provision for students who will vacate on the 7th of November to avoid them engaging in immoral acts.
Students and parents during the registration process at Asesewa Senior High School
Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, earlier indicated that only 400 out of the estimated 670 SHSs would run the double-track system with the Ashanti and Eastern Regions having the highest number of schools, 74 and 60 respectively.
It is believed that over 8,000 teachers will be recruited to handle the sandwich classes so that teachers would not be deprived of their holidays.
Under the new system, teaching hours are due to increase 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 trimester system to 1,134 hours per year under the proposed double-track system.
The government adopted the double-track system to cater for increased enrollment under its flagship free Senior High School programme, due to a deficit in infrastructure.
Source: Rite News Desk / ritefmonline.org