General News of Wednesday, 24 October 2018
The free SHS program and Double track system by the Akufo-Addo government is unpardonably populist and unthoughtful, National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for Korle Klottey and daughter of former President Jerry John Rawlings, Zanetor Rawlings has said; MyNewsGh.com reports.
She said the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government should have piloted the program on a smaller scale to see how it works and anticipate the challenges that come with it before they roll it out nationally.
She said there is the need to ‘ring-fence’ some sectors of this country away from the touch of populism, and for her, education should be one such area where she believes Akufo-Addo’s government is implementing a good idea poorly.
In an interview on a local TV station transcribed fully by MyNewsGh.com’s Stephen Zoure, Zanetor was particularly unhappy about the Double Track system and its implication for the future of school children to learn and remember what they learnt after coming home for a while. She mentioned that most of the market women in her constituency have complained to her about it and why it is a problem for them as they don’t understand how it works.
“If you look at what is happening right now with our educational system, personally I think that any nation that is still getting together and trying to consolidate on what it started building on must ring-fence certain things and education should be one of them. We shouldn’t have changes made in the whole educational system based on a populist idea.” she said.
“Whatever is going to be done regarding our education, has a very huge impact on the future of this nation…and therefore we can’t just do things and expect things to fall in place as time goes along. A lot of thought must go into any policy or anything that is going to be implemented before it’s done. At the very least the pilot project or something on a smaller scale should be done to see whether it actually works before we are saddled with something that could have dire consequences on our children and as result of our future.” she warned.
Zanetor on Double track
On the double Track system, the young pilot and medical doctor said there is a huge problem that must be addressed. She mirrored an example on her own experiences as a mother of three.
“What are we to do with our children while they are at home? Parents are struggling to survive and frankly when your children are in school that takes away a little bit of the burden of what to do with them that helps you to manage and also put something in the kitty so that you can support them. ” she explained as MyNewsGh.com transcribed.
“When kids come home for the long vacation I think we all know what happens. I have three children and every time they come home for the long vacation, I always wonder will they remember everything they learnt that year going into the next year? It is a constant concern and it is real.” she said.
“I remember going home on vacation and going back to school and sometimes not remembering everything…we are having to go over what you did. Now you are doing this on a regular basis where you are supposed to be building a foundation consolidating your knowledge …now you do a little bit and you go home I don’t think that helps.” she opined.
More on Double track
“In the last week I have actually gone round the constituency and spoken especially with the market women and they are very upset about the system because the question is so what do we do with our children now?” she asked rhetorically.
“The minute that aspect of the balance or the dynamics of how the family is run changes then you have a situation where throughout the year we know from X month to Y month the children are home for two months. Mentally for those two months we have to find another way of managing them…we come to terms with that.
But when you have a changing in such a way that every couple of months the children are home and if you have children who fall into those two different track systems then you have a problem when you have children at home all the time. It is almost like a constant long vacation which impact on your ability to actually work full time because how many people can afford home care or can afford daycare facilities and how many places have daycare facilities for children? These are very real issues and I don’t feel like the entire issue was addressed… was looked at holistically before it was put into practice.” she explained.
“I would have expected that given the extreme nature of the impact of such a program, would have been done on a pilot scale to see how it works out …now we have put something in place. The other issue is why have we not looked out for more infrastructure as well?” she asked rhetorically.