A beneficiary of the free Senior High School (SHS) policy has described the irregular nature of the academic calendar for the double track system as affecting academic work.

 

According to Ewurama, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Joy FMs Super Morning Show Thursday May 27, uncertainty over when a particular semester will end, affects the number of contact hours teachers are able to have with students.

 

She explained that teachers rush through the syllabus because they don’t know when the government will call off the semester.

 

“The teachers usually have to rush through the syllabus because they don’t know when the government is going to announce that we have to go home,” she said.

 

On the same Show, Samuel Yankey (not his real name), a teacher, said that the double track system places more pressure on teachers.

 

“If you’re a housemaster or part of Management of a secondary school, it means that you don’t rest throughout the year. Because as Gold track leaves, the Green track would come. As Form 1s leave, Form 2s are in the system. And so, it’s a matter of stress that we do go through.”

 

He said that, if there is more input required of professional teachers, then there should be some equal level of incentives that should cater for the stress and challenges they go through.

 

 

“And I believe that the government would have to incentivise teachers in second cycle institutions with better remuneration for the purposes of this extra work we are doing.”

 

He said that although the government has provided some allowances for teachers, it is not enough.

 

These views were shared during a discussion on challenges plaguing the implementation of the free SHS policy.

 

 

The teachers and students had their turn after parents and headteachers had been given the opportunity, on the same Show, to share their perspectives on the problems that hamper the smooth implementation of the free SHS programme.

 

Among challenges confronting the free SHS programme that were mentioned by numerous callers into the morning show Wednesday, May 26 are; lack of accommodation facilities resulting in students sleeping on the floor, congestion in classrooms, inconvenience relating to erratic schedules for the double track system, poor quality of food served to students, little attention to end of semester examinations and minimal contact hours.

 

The free SHS programme which took off in 2017 has been widely hailed as a game-changer as more than a million students currently have access to second cycle education with government bearing the cost.

 

This resulted in increase in admission, a situation that gave birth to the double-track system.

 

 

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