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Thursday, September 17, 2009

'Government's plan to abolish shift system mere political talk'

Alex Tettey-Enyo
Alex Tettey-Enyo
Some teachers in the Greater Accra Region have described as a mere ‘political talk’ government’s promise to soon phase out the shift system.

Education Minister, Alex Tettey-Enyo on a visit to selected schools in the region on the first day of reopening hinted that government will abolish the shift system.

Under the shift system, half of the school children attend lectures in the morning and close at midday, to make way for another batch of students to make use of the same facilities.

After two weeks there is a reversal in the shift system, as those in the morning are made to attend classes in the afternoon and vice-versa.

The minister argued that the system gave little time for comprehensive studies and co-curricula activities for the children, adding his outfit will soon make the shift system a thing of the past.

But the teachers are not impressed with the otherwise laudable promise by the education minister.

In an interview with Joy News on Thursday, some of the teachers said that promise will not be fulfilled anytime soon because the facilities are not in place to support the idea.

“My problem is where the schools are heavily populated they have to find enough classrooms for them so that they can accommodate all these children. So government should think about all these things, logistics, the infrastructure,” one of the teachers said.

“This thing, everybody says they will abolish it and it continues every now and then. If they have the money or the means to provide the infrastructure, the schools and everything needed there will be no problem with it,” another skeptic teacher said.

A former minister under the erstwhile Kufuor administration, Prof. Ameyaw Ekumfi counseled that government need to be cautious in the implementation of such a policy.

More classroom blocks and corresponding facilities would have to be provided before the intended phase out could be achieved, he argued.

Meanwhile, the school children have expressed mixed reaction over government’s intention.

Some say the system should be maintained because it gives them ample time to study before or after school. But others think the system is counter-productive and need to be abolished.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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