The government is poised to phase out the double-track system in senior high schools across Ghana in the 2024-2025 academic year, Dr Yaw Adutwum, the Education Minister, has said.
Late last year, William Akwasi Sabi, the then deputy minister of monitoring and evaluation, told Asaase Radio that the government hoped to phase out the double-track system for SHSs within two years.
However, speaking with Nana Yaa Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Wednesday 9 June 2021, Adutwum said the target is now 2024.
“The president made the promise in Tamale; it has been, I think, about three years now. So that puts you at two to four [years] for the double-track system to be eliminated. And we are on track to that elimination agenda by the president,” he said.
Adutwum added: “In academic year 2025 schools are going off the track and the good news is that there will be new schools to accommodate more, and then existing schools would have had capacity to accommodate more.”
In September 2017 the government began implementing the flagship Free Senior High School (Free SHS) programme with an initial government fund of US$138 million.
Statistics from the Ghana Education Service in March 2020 showed that there were 404,856 children enrolled in state-run senior high schools and benefiting from free education.
Dr Adutwum said that the government has so far spent nearly GHC8 billion on implementation of the Free SHS programme since 2017.
“In 2017 we spent GHC480 million, in 2018 GHC1,137,861,816, in 2019 GHC1,682,641,924 and the following year there will be adjustment because of the COVID-19 but the actual budget was GHC2,429,257,748 which would be revised because of the COVID-19 and the academic year changes. And this year it is GHC1,174,021,968,” he said.
He added: “In all, we have spent to date GHC7,703,783,456, and that is the data that was given to me by my chief director.”
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