After 4 years of rolling out the flagship free senior high school (FSHS) policy, the natural expectation of Ghanaians is that, the programme will keep improving and getting better with regard to its implementation, however, the opposite seems to be the case as the programme is now getting more and more disorganised.
There is no doubt the free senior high schools (FSHS) policy is a game changer in achieving a population of more literate Ghanaians who will be equipped with some minimum level of skills. The goal to have an educated population which is a prerequisite for driving development could be realised through mass and wholesale education of people, and the free secondary school for Ghanaians is the best form of catalyst any government can kick in.
The Akufo Addo government implementation of the policy, especially in his first term had problems due to lack of adequate planning before the roll-out. Lack of infrastructure became the most destructive factor of the policy.
Despite the warnings from civil society organisations and opposition political parties, the government push through the programme roughly for the first 4 years. The warnings were for the government to hasten slowly and build up the capacities of the schools to accommodate the large number of expected students before a full roll-out.
Government on the other hand posited that, it was going to do it anyway, and improve on it while the programme progresses. But contrary to its promise, the FSHS programme is somehow deteriorating and causing confusion within the Ghana educational set up, especially at the SHS level.
The introduction of the double track system was to correct the malfunction of the system caused by over population of students. The so-called innovative intervention is proving to be harmful.
This year and on the current academic calendar, a simple placement of vacation and reopening date has confused the Ghana Education service (GES). The gold, green and yellow tracks system is making a mockery of the whole secondary level of education.
The danger is that, it looks as if the current confused state of the system can only get worse. Student population will keep increasing, while the existing infrastructure might stay stagnant.
Perhaps, at the risk of sounding like a prophet of doom, I might say we may need a triple or multiple track educational system in the future.
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