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Double track schools to reduce; GES assures 2019 BECE candidates

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
Council Chairman of the GES, Mr Michael Nsowah
Council Chairman of the GES, Mr Michael Nsowah

Majority of this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) students who qualify for senior high schools (SHS) will not be part of the Double Track SHS System, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has said.

It explained that by the time the 2019/2020 academic year would begin in September, most of the schools would have had ongoing infrastructure projects completed to accommodate all students at a go for a single track.

The Chairman of the GES Council, Mr Michael Nsowah, who made this known in Accra to the Junior Graphic, noted that from the situation on the ground, only about 15 SHSs out of the 698 SHSs were likely to continue the double track system for their first years during the 2019-2020 academic year.

“We can promise everybody that majority of first-year students would not go through the double-track system. No, it might not be possible for all of this year’s BECE candidates to go through the double-track system. This is because contractors have gone back to work on all the ongoing projects which are expected to be completed soon. If we are not able to abolish the double-track completely, we know that the number of schools that would run the system from next academic year would be minimal, say not more than 15. That is our projection and we hope everything works well,” he explained.

He added that if the contractors were able to complete all the projects being undertaken, then the system could be phased out completely in the 400 schools currently running it.

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 The GES Council chairman said the government had to roll out the double-track system, a temporary intervention in the 2018/19 academic year to address congestion in SHSs following the implementation of the free SHS programme.

Moreover, he said it was to cater for the large number of qualified BECE candidates who would have missed school due to inadequate infrastructure.

“The double-track system was a bold and necessary decision. What was the alternative? Sending all the qualified children who would have missed out on school because of the lack of infrastructure onto the streets?” he asked.

Over 400,000 students began the double-track system under which one track of students stayed in school while the other track was on vacation.

Mr Nsowah said the GES had completed the modalities for the selection of second-cycle schools and that they had indicated clearly schools that had more facilities to accommodate students.