President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has admitted that infrastructure at the senior high school level have not increased as rapidly as to meet the growing numbers of students in the face of the Free SHS programme.
Introduced in September last year, the programme led to 90,000 more students enrolled.
The number is expected to double this year, government has hinted.
Already ,efforts have gone into meeting the demands of the numbers with government announcing the employment of 8,000 more teachers in the 2018/2019 academic year.
Ninety-six thousand four hundred and three mono desks, 33,171 dining hall furniture, 3,033 tables and chairs for teachers, 12,953 bunk beds, 4,335 student mattresses and 5,135 computer laboratory chairs have also been provided over the past one year to address the infrastructural deficit.
But this has not been enough, according to the president.
“Unfortunately, we have not been able to increase the infrastructure as rapidly as the number of entrants,” he admitted.
“But if you are prepared to find a way, you will find that way, and we have found a way to be able to absorb this intake.”
Addressing a durbar of students and teachers at Tamale Senior High School as part of his tour of the Northern Region, President Akufo-Addo announced government’s adoption of a Dual Intake System for the 2018/2019 academic year.
“That is going to allow us, on a semester basis, to address the challenge of this new population,” the president adduced.
He said this has been tried elsewhere and it has yielded dividends.
“It will reduce class sizes, it will increase the contact hours as well as increase the number of holidays, and all this is going to be achieved with the existing infrastructure. So we are moving to this intervention to be able to accommodate this larger population of secondary high school students.”
He, therefore, urged teachers, administrators, the Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) and the Regional and District Directors of Education, across the country, to embrace this system, and work to ensure that it succeeds.
“Our young people and the future of our country will be the beneficiaries of this increase. The Free Senior High School system has come to stay. It is going to be a permanent feature of the educational architecture of our country, and it is going to make it possible that within a generation that it will transform the fortunes of our country.”