Information Minister, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid says government’s decision to adopt the double-track (semester/sandwich) system to cater for the increased enrolment into Senior High Schools due to the free SHS policy will surely be implemented “whether they [NDC] like it or not”.
According to him, the policy is in line with President Nana Addo’s ideology that no child who qualifies to be in Senior High School will be deprived of it.
“Our aim is that, no child should be left behind. Any child who writes JHS exams with a pass to SHS must not be left behind. That one we make no apology to anybody in this country for that vision. We will not apologize today or tomorrow,” Mustapha Abdul-Hamid said in an interview with NEAT FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Montie’.
The objective of the double-track system is to create room to accommodate all the students, reduce class size, increase contact hours and increase the number of holidays.
The Minister however explained that the double-track system to be implemented in the SHS is similar to the academic calendar used in the universities.
“With this system, each track will be in school for specific days for each semester and go on vacation and come back for the second semester. While the first track is in school, the second track will be on vacation and vice-versa,” he explained.
Mustapha Abdul-Hamid was responding to former President John Dramani Mahama’s call for a national consultation to build consensus on a sustainable framework for the implementation of the policy.
To Mr. Mahama, the mode of implementation for the Free SHS on an ad-hoc basis is improper.
“Proposals made by government to modify Senior High Education in the country through the double-track system should be subjected a broad stakeholder consultation adding that it is not too late to revise the Free SHS policy,” the former President said.
But Mustapha rubbished Mahama’s suggestion – “We’ll not listen to what they are saying. They [NDC] can cut down the policy when they come to power so 100,000 people can be home. We will not do that. We will do whatever it takes to make sure that every child is enrolled in SHS. We don’t care what the dynamics are. Every child must go to SHS. No child should be left behind.”
“This is the best system some develop countries used to accommodate students, so why can’t we?” he quizzed