The Minister for Education and Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has touted the performance of Free Senior High School students in WASSCE as breaking news and credited the double track system for its success.
According to him, records from the West African Examination Council indicate that Free SHS students have done better in all four core subjects compared to the 2015 to 2019 period.
The Free SHS program which began in 2017 and had its first graduates in 2020, has since never seen students attain below 50% in any single core subject.
“It is breaking news, that for the last three years, there is no single subject they have had below 50%. In 2015, only 28% got between A1 and C6 in integrated Science, 2022 they had 62.45%. Mathematics, in 2015, only 32.4% got between A1 and C6, and in 2022 it changed to 71.51%. Across the board, free SHS students have done better.”Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum
Even though the double track does not exist in its original shape, the Minister attributed the success of the policy in the examination performance to the double track system his government adopted amidst much criticism.
“In every single subject, the children have done better because you see, we have opened up the quality of PRESEC education to more students; the magic of the double track. If you don’t understand something, you may rubbish it.
“It is no longer heard of because it is being transitioned. You don’t have two tracks of Form 1 students, with one track staying home and one coming. So all Form 1s are in school at one time and all Form 2s are in school at the one time, and all Form 3s are in school at one time. That is the transition.”Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum
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He further indicated that some schools such as Tamale Senior High have transitioned completely from the double track to single track system.
“You have schools like Tamale Secondary School, where we have, however, moved from double track to completely single track. So when school reopens, all of them are in school on the same day. There are several such schools. 60% of our schools are no longer doing double track. They are all single-track schools. By the way, when the double track started about 40% of our schools were not double track.”Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum
Dr. Adutwum underscored that the double track was necessary to increase access to the most desired schools such as Adisadel, and Presbyterian Boys’ School, among others.
The Minister further praised the nation’s great feat in maintaining high quality while increasing access.
“I have said Ghana defied gravity. If you have done education you know that in any country, when you increase enrollment, you diminish learning outcomes.”Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum
This according to him was against the odds as predicted by Prof Essuman, WAEC Chairman, based on education literature that says higher enrollment affect learning outcomes.
He thus praised his government and ministry for attaining such high feat and changing the narrative.
“Ghana has done something that has never been done. What we did right was the double track. Because when buildings are fixed, when you increase enrollment, you have to increase class sizes. The moment you introduce double track you dodge the class size increase because all of them are not there at one time.”Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum
He explained that the increase in access pushed the government to hire more teachers so teachers were not overburdened.
“But the pressure on the teachers was why we hired more teachers when we started. When double track started more teachers were hired. It means you go on vacation with your track. Headmasters will tell you that in a majority of instances if a teacher is a teacher of Form 1, he goes on vacation with the form 1 student.”Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum
He however added that, there are unique instances where this is not the situation.