Double Track Breeding Teenage Pregnancies – NDC MPs

Minority members of Parliament

The Minority National Democratic
Congress (NDC) in Parliament has claimed that the double track system under the
Free Senior High School (SHS) initiative is increasing
teenage pregnancies in an unprecedented manner.

Without any basis, the ranking
member of Education Committee, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe (NDC MP for Akatsi North) and
his deputy, Dr. Clement Apaak (NDC MP for Builsa South), said over 1,433 girls
in senior high schools across the country had been impregnated and dropped out
of school due to the double track system rolled out by the Akufo-Addo
government to deal with overcrowding resulting from the introduction of the
Free SHS programme which has increased enrolment dramatically.

At a news conference at Parliament
House on Wednesday, the NDC MPs also claimed the food being provided by
government to SHS students had expired.

“The double track system and its
first born, the semester programme, which now operates like a traffic light,
are not helping in the delivery of quality education in our senior high
schools,” Mr. Nortsu-Kotoe claimed.

According to him, the long stay at
home by students during the long vacations unnecessarily exposes them to social
vices such as teenage pregnancies, alcoholism, cultivation of deviant behaviour
and lifestyles arising from peer pressure and drug abuse.

He said that through their
interactions with some students and heads of institutions across the country,
it came to the fore that the food being served in the schools is not only
insufficient but also prepared with expired food products.

Besides, he claimed that the
textbooks being supplied to the students are of poor quality and insufficient
in number, saying “only textbooks for core subjects are supplied to students
and none for elective subjects.”

The Minority said all the projects,
including dormitories in the various schools, had been abandoned by the present
government while they continually get congested.

They, therefore, called on the
government to urgently address what they called ‘the inherent problems’
associated with the double track system to assuage the increasing frustration
of parents about the policy.

Besides, they called on the government to involve what they called ‘all stakeholders’ in the running of the schools under the Free SHS programme to engender quality in the system.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr