8,000 more teachers for Free SHS – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said from September 2018, Government will implement the double intake system for new entrants into the country’s public Senior High Schools, which will address the growing numbers of students benefitting from the Free SHS policy.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the 2018/2019 academic year will see a 31% increase in the population of new students entering senior high school, that is 472,000 new entrants, which has resulted in a deficit of some 183,000.
Despite his government, over the course of the year, providing 96,403 mono desks, 33,171 dining hall furniture, 3,033 tables and chairs for teachers, 12,953 bunk beds, 4,335 student mattresses and 5,135 computer laboratory chairs to address the infrastructural deficit, he explained that, it has not been enough to address all issues of infrastructure.
“Unfortunately, we have not been able to increase the infrastructure as rapidly as the number of entrants. But if you are prepared to find a way, you will find that way, and we have found a way to be able to absorb this intake. We call it the Dual Intake System that is going to allow us, on a semester basis, to address the challenge of this new population,” the President said.
He continued, “We are doing it by, first of all, expanding the numbers of teachers. We are recruiting over 8,000 more teachers for the secondary schools this year than we had last year, and then we are going to employ a double track school calendar system.”
The double track system, the President said, will create room to accommodate the increase in enrolment.
“It will reduce class sizes, it will increase the contact hours as well as increase the number of holidays, and all this is going to be achieved with the existing infrastructure. So we are moving to this intervention to be able to accommodate this larger population of secondary high school students,” he assured.
Far from it being an intervention that is new, the President noted that “it should be remembered that it has been tried elsewhere and found successful, especially because it has led to a reduction in class sizes and an increase in the contact hours that the teachers have with their students.”
The result, he assured, is going to be an even greater output as far as quality in the country’s senior high school system is concerned.
He, therefore, urged teachers, administrators, the Parent Teacher Associations and the Regional and District Directors of Education, across the country, to embrace this system, and work to ensure that it succeeds.
“Our young people and the future of our country will be the beneficiaries of this increase. The Free Senior High School system has come to stay. It is going to be a permanent feature of the educational architecture of our country, and it is going to make it possible that within a generation that it will transform the fortunes of our country,” he added.