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Opinions of Monday, 30 July 2018

Columnist: Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa writes: Say NO to the reckless Shift System

It is instructive to note that further analysis of the official EMIS Data reveals that Public SHS enrolment increased from 479,296 to 663,500 (an increase of 184,204) between 2009/10 and 2010/11 academic years. The increase of 38 percent is the highest over the last 10 years and came about as a result of the President Kufuor era decision to extend SHS duration to 4 years.

Though the Kufuor Government did not make arrangements for infrastructural expansion to cater for the impact of their decision, his successor Prof. Mills showed remarkable leadership and foresight carrying out emergency infrastructural expansion immediately he took over as President in anticipation of this historic astronomical increase in enrolment in a year's time. He did not go to sleep only to wake up suddenly and impose a Shift System on us for the 2010/11 academic year.

This is the kind of responsible, visionary leadership which preserved the quality of secondary education at the time which President Akufo-Addo ought to have shown having been in power for 18 months. Just as we all knew, the Akufo-Addo Government should have known since last year that they will be dealing with an increase in enrolment of some 181,993 - a figure representing a 30% increase from last year and far lower than what Prof. Mills so competently and efficiently handled without destroying the quality of secondary education.

In any case, the same proponents who tout the benefits of the Shift System (cleverly branded as a Double-Track System) are the same people telling us that after 5 years we will revert to the current system when infrastructure has been expanded. The question is: if the Shift System is so good why abolish it after 5 years? We should be opting for it forever or?

This morning I celebrate the great leadership of Prof. Mills (Ahwene pa nkasa ampa) and I say NO to the reckless Shift System.

See you all in Cape Coast - truly, the citadel of secondary education in Ghana.

Always in our hearts, Prof.