The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has directed all schools in the country to reintroduce “hot-sitting” so as to be able to enroll all pupils interested in going to Form One. No high school is to turn away any pupil and if need be that school is to introduce morning and afternoon lessons to cater for demand.
Hot sitting was popular as early as the mid-1980s when Government was on a drive to correct the imbalances in education that colonialism had brought about.
In a recent interview the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Lazarus Dokora mentioned that the country had a larger pool of pupils needing to progress to high school and as places at boarding schools were limited, the onus was now on day schools to accommodate these pupils.
It is said that only 5700 primary schools and 2200 secondary schools are available to absorb 2,450,000 and 850,000 learners respectively, the same Minister last year in September announced that 2,000 new schools would be built to mitigate the problem. No mention has been made as to the progress on this project, but with their being a teacher pupil ratio of 1:36 at best, an earlier directive to schools to offer their facilities to students who would have failed their exams comes makes one wonder whether schools will have the resources.
With teachers already being underpaid, the banning of extra lessons at public institutions and fund-raising initiatives by Students Development Associations, cancellation of incentives for teachers and Form One entrance tests, suspension of development projects, the introduction of hot sitting in schools may prove to be a disaster as it was previously reported that “schools that do not have hot sitting have higher pass rates“.
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