A senior research fellow at the University of Education, Winneba, Dr. Daniel Yielpieri, has said the disadvantages associated with the double-track system being proposed for the free Senior High School (SHS) outweigh the advantages.
Accrording to the Educationist, the double-track system could cause social crises.
Speaking on Adom FM’s political talk show, Burning Issues, Dr. Yielpieri said the extended periods that the students will spend at home – under the new system – will make “the devil find a job for idle hands.”
The government is finalising steps to adopt the double-track (semester/sandwich) system to deal with increased enrollment under its flagship programme, the Free SHS.
The new system is also expected to tackle the infrastructure deficit that has hit the programme since its inception in 2017.
The objectives of the double-track system are to create room to accommodate the increase in enrollment, reduce class size, increase contact hours, and increase the number of holidays, government has said.
However, commenting Wednesday on the system that has become highly controversial, the senior research fellow said the long vacation that comes with the semester-based double-track system could cause students to engage in vices.
He said because many parents cannot finance extra tuition for their wards, internet fraud, teenage pregnancy among others are likely to be on the ascendency during the long vacations.
With regards to funding the free SHS, he said there should be a partnership between parents and the government to get parents to take some responsibility.
He, however, lauded the free SHS programme but fears the double-track system could erode the sustainable of the free education policy.
“Government should allow us the parents and other stakeholders to help so that we all can achieve the ultimate objective,” he said.
He proposed: “With the public sector salary workers, government would be able to determine those who can pay for their children even though some people will say it is discrimination.”
Meanwhile, Economist and Head of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School, Professor Godfred Alufar Bokpin, speaking on the same programme also said the Free SHS is a bold decision government has taken and must be applauded for it.
He said the benefits to be derived from the policy may not be visible in the interim.
He said Ghana cannot compromise on developing its human capital, saying the free SHS holds the key.
Prof. Bokpin has, however, suggested the Coupon System to deal with funding issues of the free SHS policy.
The Coupon System is where a capped amount is paid for every student so that parents who prefer to send their wards to private schools with extra cost will defray the difference.
Source: Adom News