On The Double Track System And The Quality Of Education: NAYAS Commend H. E. Nana Akufo-Addo
The Akufo-Addo government introduced free Senior High School (S.H.S) to enable Ghanaians irrespective of their income level, location or tribe to gain access to secondary education. The free SHS has contributed to increase in enrolment by more than 50,000 in 2017 indicating that cost has denied many Ghanaians access to education over the years. Projection for 2018 indicates that the available vacancies in secondary schools cannot accommodate the growing population due to the attractiveness of the policy; hence government has proposed the double track system to deal with the increasing numbers.
This laudable idea has been criticized by NDC with the reason that it will negatively affect the quality of education. However, the NDC has failed to back their claims with empirical evidence. The effect of the double track system on the quality of education can be measured using “Cost-Effectiveness” and “Cost-Utility”. Cost-effectiveness focused on measuring educational achievements which can only be measured when students write their WASSCE while Cost Utility (more of subjected) allows the inclusion of qualitative variables in measuring the quality of education. For Ghana, the emphasis is on the cost effectiveness methodology which we earlier said can be measured when students write their WASSCE.
The double track system adopted by government is monthly rotation in nature, the most effective method which allows a group of students to use the existing school facilities for a number of months, vacate for other group to utilize it. Contact hours per day have been increased to offset the lost hours. Also, additional teachers are being recruited to eliminate teacher tiredness which greatly might affect effective teaching and learning. The system is being implemented in second cycle ‘Grade A and B’ schools where the students are well grown hence eliminates extra cost of parents such as hiring care takers, and will reduced social vices as opposed to NDC claims. It is also worth noting that it reduces overcrowding and prevent the occurrence of meningitis which the same NDC claimed was caused by overcrowding. For instance, Hon. MutawakiluAdam (NDC Member of Parliament in Damango) and KokuAnyidoho(Deputy Secretary) indicated that congestion in SHS resulting from free SHS is the cause of the disease ( https://www.modernghana.com/news/820993/ndc-mp-blames-free-shs-for-kumasi-academy-crisis.html i). Is it the wish of NDC that poor should not be educated so that they (NDC) can continue to deceive them. The competent Akufo Addo government is saying that education is the right of every Ghanaian hence no child will be left out.
In fact, it will offer students pursuing technical programme the opportunity to gain further practical experience during their off period which we urge the government to consider for inclusion. The government decision to implement it nationwide minimized if not eliminate the inequality associated with the double track system. This indicates that Government has carefully crafted Ghana’s model to negate the problems associated with the double track system.
Empirical studies conducted in Brazil, The Gambia, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Zambia and D.R. Congo have proved that the double track has no disastrous effect on quality of education. In some countries, the double track system increase people score by eight points. For instance, Michaelowa (2013) study in Sub-Sahara Africa revealed that double track system has no bad effect on quality of education. Difference in academic achievement may result from family income level of the student. So where lies the NDC argument, it is good to talk (NDC), but better to keep quiet if you do not have anything constructive to say.
The Double Track System which is a temporal measure is the way to go. Our elders say and it true that we don’t throw away the baby with the bath water. It is about time that the NDC holds itself as a worthy opposition. We commend H. E. the President for taking the bold decision to implement the free SHS policy. Our commendation also goes to the Ministry of Education for rolling out the policy successfully.
……………Still Asempa Ye Short
Prince A. A. Sadat
Abraham Mensah Acquah
Emmanuel Kwame Agyemang