Source :savannanews24.com/Prince Addo:
The Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Adu Twum has announced that there is going to be a 181,000 increase in student intake for Senior High Schools in September, in line with the “double track system” which he said will limit and reduce the congestion in schools that are in high demand and also be a great opportunity to have an educated population in the near future.
Dr. Twum, who is one of the brains behind the “No Child Left Behind” policy, an innovative plan by government meant to ensure that no child is left behind in the transmission from JHS to SHS said that the Nana Addo Free Senior High School policy had come to stay and he was particularly excited about the fact that the announcement of the double track system was made in Tamale, stating that it was a great opportunity that has presented itself, in the fact that a vast majority of the youth across the country want to go to secondary school.
“In September we are going to bring in 181,000 more students than we will normally accommodate. In addition we are going to limit the congestion and reduce congestion in our schools that are in high demand. And that is when some people will say, how is that possible? How can you admit more students and tell me that you are going to decongest? How can you admit more students and tell me that at any point in time it’s going to be less than last year’s? But that is the genius of the double track system which allows us to do all these and then give us a breathing space to go ahead and build more facilities” he said.
He further explained that after the ministry had seen that this year’s BECE registration had shot up massively to 521,000 as compared to last year’s 458,000 and having only 277,000 space in schools, they met with the president and he empowered the minister to find other methods to accommodate these students. The double track system, he emphasized was going to aid government to buy time in putting up sustainable structure and was also going to replace the cut off system which denied many the opportunity of going to schools of their choices.
He added that the policy of the private BECE introduced by the NDC was not taken advantage of simply because SHS was not free. Most people he said were no taking advantage of the policy as a resultant of this, however he stated that this year instead of the nominal 1000 students registering through the private BECE it increased to 11,000 students.
According to Dr. Twum, government as method to exterminate drop out in the Junior High School (JHS) level has decided in full amounts of registration fees for JHS 3 students in public schools. This he said was going to be rationale behind the escalation of student enrolment in SHS.
“Government also decided that we seize drop offs from JHS 2 to 3 and investigations showed that a number of students dropped out in JHS 3 because they could not afford to pay the registration fee even though the government was subsidizing so government decided to pay in full for students in the public schools, which is going to fuel the increase in enrolment to Senior High Schools” he announced.
Minister of Information, Hon. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid speaking on the same issue of dropout said that the “No Child Left Behind” policy was primarily made to curb this problem.
He explained that about 100,000 students dropped off from the transmission from JHS to SHS every year, which was nothing good to write home about.
Mr. Abdul Hamid added that the Northern Region was still extremely far behind in terms of education in spite of the Northern Scholarship, as such government came up with the “No Child Left Behind” policy to ensure that every child in the country attains at least a Senior High School certificate since the development of human resource capacity was a necessary element that fosters a nation’s growth and development.
“Indeed if you look at education statistics in Ghana, people of the north are still very far behind even in spite of what was previously the Northern Scholarship it is still not a good story, and so, we have a president who is committed to an all-round education policy that allows every child in our country to attain at least a Senior High School certificate. That in his view is the way that we can develop our country, after all of the countries that have developed have developed not by mineral resources or natural resources, but have developed by human resource and therefore we must develop our human resource capacity. So since we came into office we have developed a number of policies in our education sector that will allow for better access of education, for quality of education and etc.
This year government has an innovative plan that ensures that no child is left behind from the transmission from JHS to SHS. Before Free SHS, about 100,000 students were dropping off right. Between JHS and SHS 100,000 students were dropping off every year and we thought that it is not good and that everybody should be carried along, so we have a policy that we call “No child Left Behind” and as part of this “NO Child Left Behind” policy, government has an innovative plan to indeed ensure that no child is left behind in the transmission from JHS to SHS”