The government has adopted the double-track (semester/sandwich) system to increase enrollment under its flagship programme, the Free Senior High School.
This was revealed by Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education at a sensitization programme organized for Metro/Municipal/District Directors of Education, Heads of Senior High School and Public Relation Officers of the Education Sector on the theme ‘No qualified child be left out’ on 21st July 2018 at the Accra Girls Senior High School in Accra.
Briefing participants, Dr Prempeh emphasized that the exigencies of the situation calls for a shift system to be introduced where there will be an adequate use of the existing classrooms.
According to Dr Prempeh, a gap of 181,993 exists which calls for the double-track school calendar system to absorb students. He added that as it stands now only 90,000 spaces are available for the 2018 September intake.
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.
He further added that the new system will run in all the categories A and B Senior high schools in the country.
A software has been developed to change the timetable to make room for the new system.
The Minister was optimistic that over 8,000 teachers are being recruited to handle the sandwich classes because teachers would not be deprived of their holidays.
He claimed that the new system was an adoption and not invention since few countries including Kenyan, Japan, Costa Rica, Germany, Australia and the United States are already running the system.
The new system reduces the current contact hours and so a remedial school is also instituted on Saturdays for English and Mathematics where the government is committed to paying 50 Ghana cedis per student per semester as an academic intervention. Heads of schools would also be supported with incentives for supervision on Saturdays.
In all, a total of 323,061,739.00 is earmarked to cushion the remedial school for the year.
The double-track system was proposed by Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, an educationist and a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education Winneba, saying it is the best way to go.