Kwasi Kwarteng, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Education has reiterated that the double-track system for pre-tertiary schools is being phased out soon.
Speaking on Asaase Radio’s youth-oriented show Candid Voice on Sunday (16 January), Kwarteng noted that: “Double-track is a thing of the past but of course we at the ministry like to call it the process of ending the double-track because if you look at the timetable you can see that SHS 3 and SHS 2, for instance, are supposed to reopen on Monday 7 February, SHS 1 tentatively Monday 4 April, so clearly this timetable does not make records to anything like green track or gold track, it pre supposes that this whole thing about double-track is almost a thing of the past.”
Kwarteng described the new calendar as transitional, acknowledging that the switch from trimester to semester may be “unusual but it doesn’t make it wrong, this calendar will be the newly adopted calendar”.
New vs old curriculum
Kwarteng said that the old curriculum was premised entirely and absolutely on textbooks unlike the new curriculum which looks to train students who are critical thinkers, assertive and problem solvers.
“It [the curriculum] gives you that wider scope to be able to use a lot of teaching and learning materials outside what is in the classroom,” he told sit-in host Caleb Ahinakwah. “Hopefully by March 2022 we are getting all needed textbooks for the kids.”
“At the end of the day we seek to train students who are assertive, open-minded, critical thinkers and are problem solvers, so that the knowledge that they acquire will ultimately have an impact on socio-economic transformation.”
According to Kwarteng, the government is investing more in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) because Ghana wants to situate its “education to fit in the dictates and demands of the 21st century”.
The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cut the sod for the construction of the Accra STEM Academy, a school, dedicated, principally, to the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The academy, which will be constructed within the next 24 months, will be completed from kindergarten to high school, with an expected population of some 2,000 students.
Schools under trees
Touching on schools operating under trees across the country, Kwarteng said the government cannot be blamed for the development.
“The impression that has always been bandied around is that the government has created schools under trees and abandoned them. A lot of them are not government created challenge, and about 90% to 95% of these schools are not GES approved schools.
“Sometimes due to distance, you have the communities coming in themselves to build shelves and with time they deteriorate.”