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DOUBLE TRACK SHS TAKES OFF SUCCESSFULLY

General News

Despite initial challenges with the double track system introduced in the nation’s senior high schools, checks by the Daily Statesman indicate that the system largely took off successfully yesterday across the country in all the selected schools.

Despite initial challenges with the double track system introduced in the nation’s senior high schools, checks by the Daily Statesman indicate that the system largely took off successfully yesterday across the country in all the selected schools.

 

Some teachers and parents who spoke to the Daily Statesman said even though there were some little challenges with the registration of some students, they were hopeful they would be resolved to allow for academic work to begin smoothly.

                                                                                                    Teachers tell story

Ernest Nyarko, Accounting and Costing tutor at the Oyoko Methodist Senior High School in the Eastern Region, said the registration process was was largely smooth in his school.

“Yes, we faced some few challenges but I think this will be resolved as time goes on. Generally, I can say we had a smooth take off yesterday. The few challenges are typical of every new system. At the end of the day all that we expect is for the government to move in and address these challenges. By and large, so far so good,” he said.

Philip Anokye, English and Twi tutor at Osino Senior High School in the Eastern Region, corroborated what his colleague had told the paper.

According to him, most of the problems were as a result of panic on the part of some parents who were eager to ensure that their wards were duly registered.

“Some of the problems we observed were those we knew would occur but the good thing is most of the children were able to go through the registration successfully. They major problem had to do with those who were selected as Day students seeking to change to join those selected to be Boarding students,” Mr Anokye told the Daily Statesman.

His account was virtually the same as that of Opare Tete Archer Maclean, who teaches Government at the Koforidua Secondary Technical High School.

“This is a new system and what we saw yesterday was nothing surprising. Few challenges occurred but we, the teachers, are optimistic that they would be addressed as soon as possible. Once these challenges are solved, the second batch who will enroll in November will have less problems,’ he said.

According to Peter Labotey, a teacher at the Presby Senior High in Mampong-Akuapem, about 400 students were successfully registered yesterday at his school.

Annor Agyei, a Fante tutor at Effutu Senior School in the Central Region commended the government for introducing the policy, which according to him had ensured that children who would have been denied senior high school education “are spared that discrimination.”

                                                                                                          Parents

A parent whose ward gained admission to the Achimota School but will start school in November, believes the system must be supported to succeed.        

"We have psyched her up. It’s a small price to ensure another equally qualified student somewhere gets the chance to go to school. If they both go at the same time, they would have to share congested classrooms, congested bathrooms, congested dining halls and congested dormitories.

"It is a good thing just to give an opportunity for a lot of children to attend school in an uncongested manner," the parent was quoted to have said.

He said skepticism that had greeted the new system was the same skepticism that greeted the introduction of the Junior High School system in 1989 which scrapped the O'Level and A'Level system.

"Change is good and Ghanaian parents must embrace this policy,” he stated.

Our reporter from the Ashanti region, Benedicta Akpor, reports that some of the schools visited in the region witnessed large number of parents assisting their wards to have their registrations done for them to start studies.

Some of the selected schools included in the programme in Kumasi are T.I. Ahmadiyya SHS, Kumasi Anglican SHS, Osei Kyeretwie SHS, Prempeh College, Opoku Ware School, Kumasi Academy among others.

One observation made was that most of the students could not complete their registration process because they could not provide one or two things required to complete registration.

 “I came from New Juaben in the Eastern region to have my ward registered for admission, because I couldn’t submit her NHIS card; I couldn’t complete her registration, it’s sad I have to go and bring it tomorrow," a parent stated.

Some of the parents also expressed disappointment that their wards were not admitted onto the boarding system.

Bejamen Ofori Quaku, a parent whose daughter got admission to the Kumasi Anglican Senior High School, told the Daily Statesman that he did not face any challenge.

According to Mr.Ofori Quaku, he did everything concerning the registration without being asked to pay money for the service rendered to him.

Some parents and teachers, for their part, praised government for the double track system, describing it as laudable.

                                                                                                     Govt intervention

Some 400 out of about the 700 schools are involved in the system, which divides the entire student body and staff into two different tracks so that while one track is in school, the other is on vacation.

The new policy is the government’s response to the huge intake into the second cycle institutions arising out of the second year of the implementation of its free SHS policy.

It is structured in such a way that half of the students admitted (on Green track) will  commence the semester and make way after two months for the rest (on Gold track) to come in for the start of their academic year.