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General News of Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Source: GNA

Ghana must maintain double-track system – NMC Executive-Secretary


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The Executive-Secretary of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr. George Sarpong, has appealed to Ghana’s educational policy-makers not to phase out the double-track system.

“I suggest that we keep the double-track, and use the second-track for students from other African countries yearning for quality Ghanaian education at premium rates,” he noted.

According to the NMC Executive-Secretary, proceeds from this initiative could be channelled towards sustainable financial support for the ‘Free Senior High School (SHS)’ concept, while also expanding the country’s educational frontiers.

Mr. Sarpong, who was delivering the keynote address at the 75th-anniversary celebration of the Effiduase Senior High Commercial School (EFFISCO) in the Sekyere-East District of the Ashanti Region, called for constructive debate on educational policies.

“Questions about teachers’ welfare, conditions of service, vacation periods within the double-track system, require sober discussions,” he remarked.

Mr. Sarpong advised that the nation “should not allow the fake exploitation of partisanship to be part of the ‘Free SHS narrative.”

He referred to a recent article in ‘Bloomberg News’ - declaring Ghana as “Africa’s Top Candidate for an Economic Leap.”

Among the factors cited for that conclusion was that the country had a better quality education than its neighbours - Nigeria, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire.

The double-track system was introduced by the government to increase the uptake of more students in the various Senior High Schools (SHSs) in Ghana, to ensure all Ghanaian children had access to SHS education.

This followed the implementation of the ‘Free SHS’ concept, which had over the last three years seen more than one million students benefitting to enhance their educational development.

The main objective underpinning the concept is to create the platform for as many Ghanaian youth to be educated, and currently, the model is being studied by many African educationists and policy-makers for possible replication in their respective countries.

The School's 75th anniversary was commemorated on the theme; “Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Free SHS Education”, and Mr. Sarpong, who is an old student of EFFISCO, took the opportunity to appeal for more investment in education.

Mr. Anthony Boateng, Deputy Director-General, Ghana Education Service (GES), said the educational supervisory body was committed to implementing human-centred and sustainable policies to the advantage of the society.

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