Government has begun cancelling the double track system under the Free SHS Programme in schools in the Northern Region following lack of basic teaching and learning structures.
The two Deputy Director Generals of the Ministry of Education after a meeting with head teachers of second cycle schools on in Tamale asked some schools to withdraw the system after receiving “discouraging” reports of low enrollments due to infrastructure constraints.
Authorities of the Tatale Evangelical Presbyterian (EP) Agriculture Senior High School in the Northern Region presented a report to education authorities detailing that about 100 students posted under the double-tracking system were unable to gain admission due to inadequate classrooms and hostel facilities.
The Assistant Headmaster of the school, Francis Sanekey, said students placed under the double track system refused to report because it is a day-school with inadequate infrastructures.
“When the enrollment started we realized that the numbers were not coming, so yesterday they went to meet a team came from Accra, the two deputy directors they came from Accra.
“So when we presented the enrollment to them, they saw the numbers were not encouraging, so they said we should rather stop the double track and go the single track system”, the headmaster confirmed to a delegation led by Member of Parliament of the area, Tampi Simon Acheampong.
According to the headmaster, the only reason the students turned their placements was because the school lacked adequate classrooms and hostels to accommodate the numbers.
“People who have placed here refused to come because the school is a Day School and they don’t have classrooms to stay. They feel that they can’t come to cook and that’s actually affecting the school in so many ways”, he said.
Sanekey explaining further said; “academically, it’s very bad for the school, because, students will close from school and instead of relaxing, they have to use all their time cooking in the night before they finish they are tired and cannot learn”.
He begged authorities to construct “at least 12 unit classrooms” to improve teaching and learning in the school.
The Member of Parliament, Tampi Acheampong Simon, who was in the school to handover a facility he constructed said government was gambling it way to escape tackling the infrastructures challenge.
He described the infrastructure situation at the school as a “pity” and said government’s delay in giving the school a boarding status was deliberately “unfair treatment”.
He however said he would trigger a conversation in parliament to press government to tackle the situation in order to improve enrollment.
“The school is having a lot of infrastructure deficit”, he said
“The school I understand has applied to government to upgrade to a boarding status, so myself as the Member of Parliament, have written a letter and attached their request just to re-echo it and gave them a reminder but nothing is being done”
Other schools that applied with Tatale Agric Senior High School have been upgraded to boarding status”, he said.
The Tatale EP School was absorbed by government in 2006 and now has over a thousand (1000) students studying only two courses; Agriculture and General Arts in just four small sized structures and three pavilion that have been left uncompleted since inception of the school over a decade now
Also, the Pong Tamale Senior High School and St Charles Mini Seminary School, lack infrastructure, due to fire outbreaks in the dormitories of both schools.
Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Eliasu Tanko