The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament has claimed that the double track system under the Free Senior High School (SHS) initiative is increasing teenage pregnancies in an unprecedented manner.
Without any basis, the ranking member of Education Committee, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe (NDC MP for Akatsi North) and his deputy, Dr. Clement Apaak (NDC MP for Builsa South), said over 1,433 girls in senior high schools across the country had been impregnated and dropped out of school due to the double track system rolled out by the Akufo-Addo government to deal with overcrowding resulting from the introduction of the Free SHS programme which has increased enrolment dramatically.
At a news conference at Parliament House on Wednesday, the NDC MPs also claimed the food being provided by government to SHS students had expired.
“The double track system and its first born, the semester programme, which now operates like a traffic light, are not helping in the delivery of quality education in our senior high schools,” Mr. Nortsu-Kotoe claimed.
According to him, the long stay at home by students during the long vacations unnecessarily exposes them to social vices such as teenage pregnancies, alcoholism, cultivation of deviant behaviour and lifestyles arising from peer pressure and drug abuse.
He said that through their interactions with some students and heads of institutions across the country, it came to the fore that the food being served in the schools is not only insufficient but also prepared with expired food products.
Besides, he claimed that the textbooks being supplied to the students are of poor quality and insufficient in number, saying “only textbooks for core subjects are supplied to students and none for elective subjects.”
The Minority said all the projects, including dormitories in the various schools, had been abandoned by the present government while they continually get congested.
They, therefore, called on the government to urgently address what they called ‘the inherent problems’ associated with the double track system to assuage the increasing frustration of parents about the policy.
Besides, they called on the government to involve what they called ‘all stakeholders’ in the running of the schools under the Free SHS programme to engender quality in the system.