There have been mixed reactions from parents and students accompanying the take-off of the double track system of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy which took of yesterday.
Although the registration of students was mostly smooth, there were some hiccups that frustrated parents and their children.
Early in the morning, anxious parents and their children thronged the various schools where the children were placed to go through the final admission process.
Visits by the Daily Graphic reporters to various schools in Accra and the regional capitals revealed that the admission processes were smooth in many of the schools but there were challenges in some other few schools
There were long winding queues at some of the schools, and to avoid chaos, the school authorities provided chairs for parents and their children to sit on, as they awaited their turn.
In addition to the assembly halls, which were made available for the parents and their children, other schools also mounted makeshift sheds and canopies for them.
Students for the double-track SHS formed the second batch of students for the Free SHS programme.
Under the Free SHS, there are no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer laboratory fees, no examination fees and no utility fees.
Apart from that, the government provides free textbooks, free boarding and free meals. Day students also get a meal at school for free. The programme also covers agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level.
A total of 490,514 candidates who sat the 2018 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) qualified to be in SHS and technical institutes for the commencement of the double-track educational system.
They constituted 90 per cent of the 521,710 candidates who registered for the BECE this year.
Out of the number of candidates that qualified for placement, 423,134 were automatically placed, while 67,362 could not be matched with any of their choices.
The double-track SHS system was introduced by the government this year to cater for the increase in enrolment. According to the government, the move was to ensure that no qualified child was left out of SHS admission.
Emmanuel Bonney reports that at the Accra Academy, the school authorities began the admission processes with students who were on the Green Track, while those on the Gold Track were asked to report on Thursday, September 13 for asimilar purpose.
“The Green Track students are those who are starting, and we believe we should start with them. Definitely, we will attend to the Gold Track, but we did not want all of them to come and sit here for long hours. We want to ensure order,” a teacher at the school said.
Credit: Graphic Online