A former Deputy Minister for Education under the Atta Mills administration, Mahama Ayariga has advised government to rope in private second cycle schools in the yet-to-be implemented double track system.President Nana Akufo-Addo confirmed that from September this year, his government will implement the double track system for new entrants into the country’s public Senior High Schools.
The new system is expected to reduce class sizes and increase contact hours.
Speaking on Citi TV/FM’s News Analysis Programme, The Big Issue, Mr. Ayariga advised the government to include the private schools to augment its efforts.
“Government should rather go and look at the projects, contractors, find monies, pay them. Let them fast track the process, finish those schools so we can have additional space. If you recall, I used to advocate for the private schools to be roped in and see how much additional space they could create but no one paid attention to me.
“People thought I was just doing advocacy with private schools. It was because I foresaw that the space will not be enough and so you needed to bring in the private schools but people thought the private schools will die because they will not have enough students to take in and charge because everybody will go to the free public schools.”
Meanwhile Vice Chairperson, Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Alexander Abban has suggested that government should work out modalities that will include private senior high schools taking part in the rolling out of the double intake.
“It does not take away anybody’s right to make suggestions. If the private institutions say students are not going to pay, it does not mean government is not going to pay.
“Is there a way of engaging the private schools and saying that because of this policy we intend bringing students to your school and for that they are going to use your facility, this is how we are going to pay you? I agree with you but it does not close those discussions.”
How the new system will work
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.
Teacher compensation under Double Track System inadequate – NAGRAT
The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has said the expected compensation for partaking in the Double Track 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.
By: Marian Ansah & Jessica Aryee/citinewsroom.com/Ghana