Controversies Over Double-track System Frightening Students
Professor Eric Nyarko Sampson, Board Chairman of the National Teaching Council (NTC) has stated that political apprehensions and cacophony on the double track education system had created psychological uncertainty among students and parents.
He said the increasing political colourisation, spinning, justifications and lack of coherent communication and understanding of the system had created anxiety and confusion in the minds of students.
According to him many students and parents are confused about the system and therefore, they must be motivated, consulted and educated on the modus operandi of the system to enable them to buy into it.
Prof Sampson made the remarks at the Central Regional dialogue on education policy in Ghana, held at Cape Coast on the theme: "Unpacking the double track system: Ensuring access, quality and sustainability."
It was arranged by STAR-Ghana, Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and the platform for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Regional dialogue on education among other things sought to seek stakeholders views on government’s proposed double-track system to be implemented in September as well as the free education policy.
In attendance were various representatives of stakeholder groups within the education sector, notably the Ghana Education Service, teacher associations, civil society, independent experts, People With Disabilities (PWD’s), educationists, the media, parents and guardians.
Prof Sampson said though there were no broad consultations ahead of the proposed implementation date, yet it behoves on the government not to impose the policy on stakeholders but increase consultations to garner the maximum collaborations that would aid its successful implementation.
He said government’s plan to implement the system was to ensure that no youth was left behind, adding that, about 180,000 extra students were most likely to be rolled on in September when the academic calendar begins.
The NTC Board Chairman advised the government to source for funds from its international partners and devise another innovative financial mechanism to complete abandoned school infrastructure across the country.
Additionally, he called for a review of the GETFUND disbursement model and possibly increase allocation to ease the infrastructural deficit in the sector.
Prof Sampson urged the government to prioritise teacher motivation, supervision and solicit more parents and guardians as well as teacher Unions support, which was critical to the survival of the system.
He further urged the government to resource the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to scale-up public education across the country to reduce the apprehensions with the system.
Dr Michael Boakye Yiadom, Research Fellow at the Institute of Education Planning and Administration (IEPA) at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) described the double track education system as timely and a bold stop-gap measure.
He said it will ensure that no child was left out in government’s quest to educate as many children as possible to eliminate illiteracy in the country.
The system, according to him, had worked successfully in other places and the decision by government was not out of the blues but from critical analysis of the benefits and must be supported to succeed.