Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South Constituency, Dr Clement Apaak has expressed worry over how some government officials and government-paid-lobbyists are treating the issue of the double track SHS system.
According to him, these government officials and lobbyists display arrogance in their reaction to the legitimate concerns Ghanaians are raising about the double track SHS system.
In a statement, the NDC MP wrote: “Double Track SHS – The arrogance some NPP government officials and government paid lobbyists are displaying in reaction to legitimate concerns Ghanaians are raising about the Double Track SHS system is shocking.”
He added that “Prof. Adei says Ghanaians should “shut up” and the Minister for Information says whether we (NDC) like it or not, it will be implemented? Can they be told that this issue is not about NDC, not even about NPP.”
Dr Apaak believes that education is about the future of Ghana, about our children and grandchildren.
“You rush to implement a policy without thinking through, not even a blueprint, you are again rushing to implement a questionable remedy with potentially dire medium to long-term consequences, and when legitimate questions are raised you display arrogance!”.
He said if the government is interested in quality education, the approach of using a double track system is very dangerous.
“If I may ask, is your interest mass education or quality education. Clearly, you can’t be interested in quality given your approach, and that is the danger.”
From September this year, the government will implement the double intake system for new entrants to public SHSs.
The system is a measure to address the growing number of students benefitting from the free SHS policy.
Despite providing 96,403 mono desks, 33,171 pieces of dining hall furniture, 3,033 tables and chairs for teachers, 12,953 bunk beds, 4,335 student mattresses and 5,135 computer laboratory chairs by the government to address the infrastructural deficit over the year, it has not been enough to address all issues of infrastructure in SHSs.
The 2018/19 academic year is expected to witness a 31 percent increase in the population of new students, with about 472,000 entering SHSs, and which has resulted in a deficit of some 183,000.
The new system is expected to cost GH¢323 million to fully implement.
The cost comprises GH¢267.2 million as teaching cost and GH¢55.8 million for academic interventions.
There have been mixed reactions to the proposed double intake system. While some individuals and groups have expressed support for it, others are very apprehensive of the initiative, saying it will affect the quality of education.
A national service person, Ms Adiza Mohammed, said the double intake of students in SHS was a laudable initiative because it would increase enrolment in the schools.
An entrepreneur, Ms Alexina Asmah, was of the view that the double intake would not be appropriate.
He said the government should rather stick to the normal intake and focus on building more schools.
A teacher, Ms Cornelia Amoah, said there would be pressure on teachers because they would have to work extra hard to ensure that the syllabus was completed before the close of the academic year Activities.