Shift System Will Collapse Secondary Education – Okudzeto
The Former Deputy Minister for Education, Okudjeto Ablakwa, has joined critics in condemning the shift system government intends to introduce in the public Senior High Schools.
According to him, the country’s secondary educational system would collapse when the shift system is introduced.
In a statement issued yesterday, he said “If we don’t oppose to the shift system, we should as well kiss goodbye to quality secondary education and begin planning the funeral of the death of all our Category A Schools. Under the current circumstances, none will be spared this plague – not PRESEC, Achimota, Wesley Girls, Mfantsipim, Adisadel, St. Augustines, Holy Child, Prempeh, St. Peters, St. Roses, Pope Johns – you name them, not one will survive.”
He believes the Akufo-Addo led government is seeking refuge with the shift system to cover-up on the weak flagship Free SHS policy, which made no provision for infrastructural expansion.
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu indicated that “Clearly, the Shift System has come about because Government spent largely all of its education budget paying fees for every first year student including those from affluent backgrounds and therefore neglected its infrastructural obligations.”
He further called on the President to revisit the abandoned school building projects, started by the former President Mahama.
According to him, 32 of the projects which are above 70% completion would provide additional capacity for 48,000 students when completed.
The Minister for Education, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, is reported to have hinted at a sensitization programme, governments plans to implement the Dual Intake System for new entrants into the country’s public Senior High Schools.
This was later confirmed by the President who stated that it would be implemented in September.
The new system is expected to reduce class sizes and increase contact hours.
It would also create a calendar of two semesters in a year for the SHS 1 class, containing 81 days per each semester and 41 days of vacation for a sandwich class.
However, the former Education Minister believes governments’ reason for adopting the two-semester calendar at the SHS level is to run away from its annual three term fees.
“Government is unable to find the money to pay fees thrice so has opted to pay only twice per cohort. This shows how far Government is willing to go in cutting corners just to save face. Once again, placing political expediency ahead of Ghana’s collective national interest,” he said.
By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum