A Day After The Double Track
After the hullabaloo surrounding the double track system, it has finally taken off – the inherent advantages clearly visible especially from the unusual number of pupils gaining admission.
What in a part of the US is referred to as an all-year round school system suffered a coordinated attack from political elements, of course, on the other side of the divide.
They did not wish it well and so resorted to giving it a bad name so they could hang it. Unfortunately for them, it did not die but survived the intrigues. The brains behind it have been resilient not ready to give in to the machinations of its antagonists. That is of course, one of the attributes of a good leader.
But for the novelty, many of the pupils smiling to their new schools would have had to end at the JHS level with no SHS for them to continue.
Those who thought out this novelty had this in mind when they went to the drawing board to challenge themselves. Those who stood against it and continue to do so even after the success story, advanced various factors for their stance but none of which passed the test of logic.
No child should be denied education, who have passed their examination for continuation at the senior high school level – certainly not with the introduction of the free SHS in the country.
The initial hiccups associated with new initiatives such as in admission-related issues are bound to happen as we have observed since the implementation of the module. We have observed the various interventions by policymakers in anticipation of the challenges which have been encountered by both parents and heads of schools.
The decentralized complaints desks strewn across the country have helped a great deal – the personnel doing well to assuage the pain of parents and prospective students alike.
The Education Minister and personnel of the Ghana Education Service deserve commendation for their roles in making the novelty work in spite of the efforts from the other side of the divide to kill their spirits.
We ask that the mopping up stage be taken up seriously because the killjoys could throw fresh spanners in the wheels out of frustration. The complaints desks, in our opinion, should continue to be in place until the last qualified pupil is in school.
Being a freshly minted initiative, headmasters should be made to make room for late comers; given the possibility that some pupils could have unwittingly committed blunders which need rectification. We, for instance, heard about a pupil being posted to a school for the visually impaired when his sight is intact. Male pupils could also find their names in girls' schools. Such normal blunders take time to rectify and therefore causing delays in the pupils' reporting to their respective schools. Headmasters and headmistresses should therefore be patient as time eventually straightens out these anomalies.
We wish to call on policymakers to ensure that in future when such novelties are considered, the media should be engaged to assist in the public education which is vital.
It is the absence of this which enabled the anti-double track elements to have a field day albeit short-lived.