Gov’t acting in desperation with semester system; we’ve the antidote – Private schools

The Conference of Private Second Cycle Schools has opposed government’s decision to introduce a semester system at the country’s Senior High School level.

According to the private schools, they have the antidote to the very reason government is seeking to introduce the double intake system, which has widely been criticised.

“Government is carrying a headache that we have antidotes to,” Public Relations Officer of the schools, Naphtali Kyei Baffour said on Monday while commenting on the system on 3FM’s Sunrise morning show.

The government has announced it will from the next academic year begin the system that will see public SHSs operate a semester system, which will have two streams of teachers and students.

Read: Government adopts Sandwich System for Free SHS

Government has explained the double track system will create room to accommodate increased enrolment expected in the 2018/2019 academic year under the Free SHS system as well as reduce class sizes among others.

Read:Double intake system will increase quality of SHSs – Nana Addo shrugs off criticism

A total of 472,000 new students, representing an increase of some 31%, are to be admitted into the various Senior High Schools across the country.

But according to the private schools, there are better ways of solving some of the problems associated with the Free SHS policy instead of introducing the double track system.

Mr. Kyei Baffour said though he agrees with government decision to provide easy access to quality education, he described as “desperate”, government’s decision to introduce the double track system.

In his view, the government is only acting in desperation.

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He said the Conference of Private Second Cycle Schools does not consider the issues arising from the Fee SHS policy as one that needs desperate measures like the double track system to solve them, especially when there are other ways of dealing with the issues.

Read: Deputy Education Minister talks up opportunities with double intake system

Mr. Kyei Baffuor said if government is ready to give them at least 500 students, the congestion in Senior High Schools will reduce, and there will be no need for the double track system.

He also said the private schools are ever ready take the same amount it cost to enroll students into the public Senior High Schools to help ease the increasing numbers at the public schools.

He further noted that, if Senior High School students from the public schools are able to pass their WASSCE exams when they go to private Senior High Schools for remedial, then they can equally be assured of quality tuition when they enroll in the private Senior High Schools.

Meanwhile, Chairman for National Parent Teacher Association, Alex Danso who was also speaking on the Sunrise morning show, said his association supports the double track system.

Mr. Danso said over the years, there has been a lot of educational programmes for students with long vacation classes, so practicing the sandwich system is nothing new.

He said Americans started the system as far back as 1962, which Ghanaians conformed to when they found themselves in the United States of America, hence, it should not be a problem if implemented in Ghana.

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“We may have some challenges, but it will not be enormous as we anticipate,” he added.

According to him, the double track system will reduce congestion in classrooms, dormitories at the Senior High School level, hence, government should be given the chance to implement the system.

By Abena Amoanimah Agyei||Ghana