By Augustine Sankoh
The Annie Walsh Memorial School (AWMS), Methodist Girls High School (MGHS), Saint Joseph Convent School, Ansarul Islamic Secondary School, Saint Francis Secondary School in Makeni are among some senior secondary schools that have been returned to a single shift system.
The move is part of the Ministry of Basic and Senior School Education (MBSSE) deliverables that will see the phasing out of double shift schooling in most schools in the country.
These schools will revert to the single shift in the academic year commencing 5th September 2022, joining other schools like Freetown Secondary School for Girls (FSSG) that have returned to single shift before now.
Director of School Quality Assurance and Resource Management (SQARM) in the ministry, Francess Kamara said with the double shift, students are not receiving the same education as their peers. She said some double shift school students spend less time in class than their peers and that may lead to reduced knowledge gained.
“Because double shift schools keep students in the classroom for less than the average school day five or six hours, as opposed to seven hours. Certain subjects get reduced or maybe cut from the schedule. Also, most double school students do not have the opportunity to experience extracurricular activities,” she said.
During a recent meeting with the press, the Minister of Basic and Senior School Education, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh stated that many schools have gone to single shift and there are more going to single shift.
“There are some schools currently that will take a long time to transition. Schools like United Methodist Church (UMC) School for Girls Circular Road, Government Model Secondary School among others are already overpopulated with a limited number of classrooms. Unfortunately, there are no lands to construct more classrooms for these schools,” he said.
He said for some of these schools to return to single shift they have to reduce their enrolment every year.
He stated that in many parts of the country, schools are on a single shift and there are only three districts that are having schools with double shifts with Freetown being the primary one, noting that the ministry is working assiduously in ensuring that all schools return to single shift as soon as possible.