President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the double track system would not be applicable in all Senior High Schools (SHS).
Nana Akufo-Addo said the policy would only be applicable in schools facing infrastructure challenges due to a large number of students admitted under the free SHS programme.
Speaking at the Asafotufiami festival for the people of big Ada, the president said the system would reduce class sizes and increase the number of holidays.
“This double track calendar system is not going to be applied to all senior high schools but only to those whose current capacity will be exceeded by the number of admitted students. This system will not destroy our educational system, as the professional naysayers would want you to believe,” he said.
The government has decided to implement the double track calendar system for senior high schools due to infrastructure challenges.
The new calendar system which will start in September 2018 will have high students attending school at different times of the year.
However, since the announcement of the policy in July 2018, many Ghanaians including educationists have raised concerns about the impact of the schedule on teaching and learning.
Former President John Mahama called for a national consultation to build a sustainable framework for the implementation of government’s Free Senior High School policy.
According to Mr. Mahama, the mode of implementation for the Free SHS on an ad-hoc basis is improper.
Ex-President Mahama tweeted that proposals made by the government to modify Senior High Education in the country through the double-track system should be subjected a broad stakeholder consultation adding that it is not too late to revise the Free SHS policy.
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.