First-year senior high school (SHS) students who have been successfully placed in schools have begun reporting to school to commence academic work on Monday, March 22, 2021.
Many of these students, the third batch under the Free SHS policy, yesterday reported to their respective schools to go through the registration processes required for admission.
While the anxiety of students not finding their names on the school list that usually characterised schools' reopening was missing, students would know in the coming days, whether they would be in the green or gold track, following the Ghana Education Service's (GES) announcement that the double-track system would be retained to ensure social distancing in the schools.
The GES said although all the first-year students were reporting to school on the same day, management of the various schools would inform students of their various tracks while on campus.
Last Wednesday, the Daily Graphic reported that the GES was planning to reintroduce the double-track system to help effect social distancing among students; that intervention could also provide a window of hope for the many others who still have issues with their placement and are, therefore, yet to report to any school.
Window of hope
Emmanuel Bonney reports that in an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Director General of the GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, said definitely the reintroduction of the double track would absorb some of those candidates who had not yet enrolled or had not yet been placed.
He explained that the current situation was that there were enough vacancies but that it was a matter of choice.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa further explained that most of those students who were yet to enrol were those who “are shopping to either change where they have been placed or change where they have been self-placed.”
More than 100 category ‘A' and ‘B' SHSs will run the double-track system for their first-year students.
Though they were to have reported to school on March 10, the reopening date was rescheduled to March 18, to allow for more time for guardians to prepare to send their wards to school, while the schools also adequately prepare to welcome them.
That seems to have helped resolve challenges that were encountered during reopening in the previous academic years as both parents and students calmly went through the processes.
When the Daily Graphic visited some of the campuses, it was observed that school authorities had put in place effective systems to welcome the fresh students to the various campuses, including the observation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) protocols.
Though parents were relieved that the process was smooth, they expressed concern about the tall list of items they were required to provide per the prospectus of the schools.
Also, there were pockets of agitation in some of the schools as some parents could not find their children's names on the list posted on the noticeboards and some parents also protested against the undue delay in getting their children to complete the registration process.
From Cape Coast, Edith Mensah reports that at the Aggrey Memorial A.M.E Zion, Holy Child School, Mfantsipim School and St. Augustine's College, students and parents had turned up in their numbers.