Govt must consult broadly on implementation of double-track – Catholic Bishop

The Episcopal Chairman for Catholic Education, Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, has advocated a comprehensive strategy for the implementation of the new double track educational system expected to begin this month.

 

He said the success of the new system placed a great responsibility on all stakeholders within the educational sector to ensure its success.

 

Most Rev Kwofie, who is also the Catholic Bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi, made these suggestions in an interview with the Ghanaian Times yesterday.

 

He declared “It is time a comprehensive approach is taken to address the challenges both for today and tomorrow. There is so much happening in the educational sector that requires that adequate reflection is given and stakeholders are engaged in frank discussions in order to forestall the feeling that we are in a rush. When we are all taken on board, then we shall own it as a national programme that will contribute to the development of our country. This will also assure the stability needed in our educational delivery.

 

“The new system will obviously trigger some sense of confusion both in our minds and in its operation. This is normal. I think that despite the challenges or difficulties that will emerge as we give birth to this double-track system, the onus lies on us to help make it work for the sake of the many young people in school who cannot be denied high school education. We cannot stop here as the numbers will continue to grow.”

According to Bishop Kwofie, the prudent thing to do to make such an initiative succeed was to carry out a broad consultation, adding that recently, the government engaged the leadership of the Christian Churches and our Moslem brothers in a meeting and were briefed on this plan of action.

He said stakeholders had the opportunity to ask questions, expressed their opinions and worries and believed that their views would be considered, saying however that “time is essential in this consultation.”

He explained that 2017 saw a big increase in SHS enrolment due to the free SHS education policy, which was a good thing to increase access to education and not leave anyone behind because of lack of money.

Most Rev. Kwofie explained that the concern was not only about the inadequate infrastructure but also about enough good teachers to carry the system effectively and ensure its success.

He suggested that government must employ more competent teachers to take care of the double track calendar and also make the educational standard grow stronger and more effective.”

He said that another surest way to sustain high educational standards was to discourage whole-sale promotion of students and make sure that they made the required grade to merit promotion.

Parents, he noted, were part of the equation as they generated life, provided training, nurtured and educated and must therefore,be interested in the education of their children and provide the needed discipline in their homes to facilitate formation.

Most Rev. Kwofie said: “As a church, we are guided by certain principles in providing education. Our schools have consequently attained recognition for discipline, hard work, religious and moral formation, and, of course, intellectual formation.

It is, therefore, our concern that in fashioning out the double-track calendar, attention will be given to promoting an ethos where character and religious formation will go hand in hand with intellectual formation.

 

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