General News of Monday, 8 October 2018
The Ministry of Education has dismissed media reports that it has cancelled the double track policy in some schools in the Northern Region due to poor infrastructure.
The Ministry has in a statement said that the reports are false and should be disregarded.
“The Ministry wishes to state that these stories are untrue and that for the avoidance of doubt, no school earmarked for the double track system has had it withdrawn due to infrastructure challenges,” the statement, signed the Ministry’s Public Relations Officer, Ekow Vincent Assafuah, stated.
The statement further reiterated that the 400 schools undertaking the double track policy were earmarked for the programme because of the high numbers expected to enrol in them.
The double-track policy is meant to prevent the overcrowding.
“However, in the event that the enrolment figures for a school earmarked as a double track school subsequently fall below the expected threshold, then the school will be taken off the double track system as it will no longer have congestion challenges,” Mr Assafuah noted in the statement.
“Government is monitoring the ongoing enrolment process and will decide accordingly on a school-by-school basis as the situation evolves,” he added.
What is the policy about?
The government introduced the policy at the start of the 2018/2019 academic year as a response to the overcrowding that hit the school the previous academic year.
Authorities say more than 100,000 enrolled in the Senior High Schools (SHS) after the President Nana Akufo-Addo-led government removed financial obligation as a prerequisite to enrolment.
The Free SHS as it’s called, has been lauded by a wide section of the public although some analysts and political opponents have criticised the mode of implementation.
Some believe the policy should be structured so those who can pay should be made to pay and the less privileged should be the ones to enjoy the policy.
This, the critics believe, would alleviate the financial burden of the state.
The government is however adamant. Zongo and Inner Cities Development Minister, Mustapha Hamid said in July that the current mode of implementation is the government’s position and they will stick with it, he was then Information Minister.
Meanwhile, former President John Mahama has noted that he would review the policy if he wins his party’s primaries and voted back to power in 2020.