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General News of Thursday, 21 September 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Free SHS: Government to decongest overwhelmed schools

Following reports of overpopulation recorded by some Senior High Schools, the Ministry of Education is to embark on an exercise to re-distribute students to less populated schools.

Some schools have been forced to convert sick bays and classroom blocks into dormitories as a result of the huge numbers sent to them.

But the Minister of State in-charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah says data received so far indicates that some schools received fewer students than they requested while others are overpopulated.

He noted that there are currently 82 oversubscribed schools, but there are also a number of schools that are undersubscribed.

“What we are doing now is that, within the next few days, we are bringing onto the cards the data as we have on the ground now and find a way of redistributing them so that we move some form the areas of oversubscription to the areas of undersubscription,” Prof. Yankah said.

He explained that day schools would feature prominently in this redistribution and assured that the day schools assigned would be “reasonable distances from where they [students] come from.”

“… Under those circumstances, even when they are redistributed and they have the option of day facilities, they should take it because we are going to make sure that the distribution is such that, even if they have to be day students, that is not far from where they come from.”

During the self-placement process, many parents bypassed the option of day schools for their wards, according to the Minister.

“Many parents, when they were given the opportunity for self-placement, chose only schools where they could get boarding [facilities], because they never gave a thought to the possibility that their child may not get boarding to choose schools that are close enough so that, in case they don’t get boarding, the school they are given will be close enough to where they come from…”