Double-shift schooling

‘In a double-shift system, school cater for two entirely separate groups of pupils during a school day. The first group of pupils usually attends school from early-morning until mid-day, and the second group usually attends from mid-day to late afternoon. Each group uses same buildings, equipment, and other facilities. In some systems, the two groups are taught by the same teachers, but in other systems, they are taught by different teachers.’ (Bray, 2008 cited by IIEP-UNESCO Learning Portal, n.d.).

There are different models of double-shift schooling depending on the context:

  • ‘End-on’ shifts: this is the most common double-shift system, based on the principle that one group is in class in the morning, and another group replace it in the afternoon.
  • Overlapping shifts: groups arrive and leave at different time during the day but can be at school at the same time.
  • Variation of school week length: when double-shift schooling is implemented in a school, students can study on Saturdays. They have almost the same number of hours in class as children in single shift schooling.
  • Shared teachers: depending on the shortage of teachers they can teach either only one shift, or both during the day.
  • Shared level of education: some double-shift systems gather several levels in both shifts (in the case of end-on systems).
  • Day and boarding schools: in schools with boarding facilities, shifts can be organized in a more flexible way, since some students do not have to go back home at the end of the day.
  • Urban and rural system: double-shift schooling is more common in urban areas; yet, it can also be organized in rural schools when there is a shortage of teachers for instance.
  • Daily, weekly, and monthly rotation: shifts can be organized in different time frames, but this is quite uncommon.
  • Classes for children and adults: children go to school during daytime and adults take classes in the evening.
  • Borrowed and rented premises: in private and community schools, community members can use the school space in order to organize ‘informal’ classrooms for students. 

Despite the few references found on the subject, Bray’s publication and its review from Orkodashvili stress some strategies which policy-makers can follow in order to implement double-shift schooling.

Bray (2008) describes diverse factors which can justify the implementation of double-shift schooling:

  • To increase the supply of school places while avoiding serious strain on the budget.
  • To broaden access and hence achieve social equity.
  • To use scarce human resources better: where there is a shortage of teachers, staff may be encouraged to teach in more than one session.
  • To increase salaries of teachers by giving them opportunity to work in two sessions.
  • To reduce opportunity costs for pupils by catering for those who have to work during the day.
  • To reduce overcrowding class size and alleviate pressure on sports facilities, libraries, school canteens, etc. (Bray, 2000: 12).

Although double-shift allows more children to access school, it has been criticized as findings regarding educational achievement for children in double-shift schools are not consistent and –in some countries– they have been affected due to shortened instruction time (UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report, 2010). Yet, in multiple contexts and due to the lack of resources, such policy might be necessary temporarily to ensure education for all. In such scenarios the efficacy of the policy will rely on an efficient management and implementation of the system (Bray, 2008). 

References
Bray, M. 2008. Double Shift Schooling: Design and operation for cost-effectiveness. 3rd Edition. Paris: IIEP – UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0016/001636/163606e.pdf

IIEP-UNESCO Learning Portal. n.d. Double-shift System. Accessed 16 June 2021: https://learningportal.iiep.unesco.org/fr/node/5339

Orkodashvili, M. 2009. Double – shift schooling and EFA goals: assessing economic, educational and social impacts. Nashville: Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/23519/1/Double_shift_schooling_and_EFA_Goals_assessing_economic_educational_and_social_impacts_pdf

UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report. 2010. Reaching the marginalized. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000186525

Promising policy options

Choose the most adapted model and schooling timetable

Defining the hours of schooling (at what time the day starts and finishes) and increasing the number of school days per year as compensation for the shorter days included in this system. In order to guarantee children have sufficient hours of schooling per year, it is important to study and choose consciously the type of double-shift system to implement, among all the existing possibilities.

Management structures and teacher support

Recruitment and training of qualified personnel are fundamental for a double-shift schooling system to work. Teaching several shifts can be more exhausting and engenders specific difficulties for teachers to be aware of and trained about.

Teachers can work only for one shift or for multiple ones. This has to do with the qualification but also with the salary of teachers. Provision of teacher aids, supervision and support systems such as peer teaching is fundamental in order to make them feel more confident and supported in their work.

Increase out-of-school learning

In double-shifts systems, children spend less time in class than children spending all day at school. In order to compensate for this difference, it is important to make possible for children to study out of school. There are different strategies to implement – independently or together – to make it possible: homework, assignments, good textbooks, and parental guidance.

Effective use of infrastructures

Provide extra-rooms in school to do homework and remedial work and use of other community’s facilities (sports field, hall, libraries…). This enables pupils to learn outside the classroom, in an adapted environment where they can concentrate. At home, indeed, children may have other distractions which can prevent them from focusing on school work.

Communication and sensitization

Ensure community members of the positive impact of such reforms on double-shift schooling. Governments must be persistent and determined in order to make the people used to the idea of double-shift schooling.

Widespread implementation

Guarantee large-scale implementation in order for disadvantaged groups not to feel discriminated against or punished. It should be equally implemented in poor and rich communities. Governments should be careful with the implementation of pilot projects in order not to make some communities feel that they are discriminated against.

References
Bray, M. 2008. Double Shift Schooling: Design and operation for cost-effectiveness. 3rd Edition. Paris: IIEP – UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0016/001636/163606e.pdf

Orkodashvili, M. 2009. Double – shift schooling and EFA goals: assessing economic, educational and social impacts. Nashville: Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/23519/1/Double_shift_schooling_and_EFA_Goals_assessing_economic_educational_and_social_impacts_pdf

RENCP (Rwanda Education NGO Cooperation Platform). 2010. Double-Shift Schooling: Design and operation for cost-effectiveness. Kigali: RENCP. Retrieved from: http://www.rencp.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Double-Shift-Policy.pdf

Other policy options

“End-on” shifts and “overlapping shifts”

“End-on” shifts and “overlapping shifts” are the two main models applied in double-shift schooling. This is why it can be useful to compare them and see which one can adapt the most to one specific context.

End-on shifts are when one group of pupils leaves the school before the second one begins the class. This system divides school day into two sessions: from early morning to mid-day, and from mid-day to late afternoon.

  • Advantages: two independent schools with separate students, maximum financial savings and conditions, simple preparation of timetable.
  • Disadvantages: lack of cohesion, inflexible use of staff, difficult staff co-ordination, afternoon group feeling disadvantaged, number of hours in class too limited since the school days may not be increased accordingly.

Overlapping shifts is when student groups are taught at different times during the school day but at some point, they are all gathered within the school infrastructures.

  • Advantages: cohesion, flexible use of staff, easier staff co-ordination, less feeling of being disadvantaged.
  • Disadvantages: Congestion of school compound reduced financial savings and/or unsatisfactory conditions. Climate factors play more strongly (rain, heat), complex preparation of timetable, “untidy” and “disruptive” students arriving at different times of the day.
References
Bray, M. 2008. Double Shift Schooling: Design and operation for cost-effectiveness. 3rd Edition. Paris: IIEP – UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0016/001636/163606e.pdf

Orkodashvili, M. 2009. Double – shift schooling and EFA goals: assessing economic, educational and social impacts. Nashville: Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/23519/1/Double_shift_schooling_and_EFA_Goals_assessing_economic_educational_and_social_impacts_pdf

RENCP (Rwanda Education NGO Cooperation Platform). 2010. Double-Shift Schooling: Design and operation for cost-effectiveness. Kigali: RENCP. Retrieved from: http://www.rencp.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Double-Shift-Policy.pdf

Policy options for improving Equity and Inclusion

Gender-responsive policies

Promising policy options

Choose the most adapted model and schooling timetable

Implementing flexible delivery modes, such as double-shift schooling, could help ‘boost enrolment by accommodating children’s work, making it easier for children to care for younger siblings, do chores, or even work for wages while enrolled in school’ (Sperling, Winthrop and Kwauk, 2016: 146). Although this policy option does raise up many questions, for many children, this might be the most realistic option in order to enjoy an educational opportunity. For example, Bangladesh’s BRAC schools, which operate only 2.5 hours daily, have allowed drop-out figures to stay below 1 percent of enrolled students (Sperling, Winthrop and Kwauk, 2016).

In other contexts, where cultural particularities do not allow girls and boys to attend the same school and there is a shortage of school facilities, double-shift schooling could be a solution. For instance, Pakistan implemented double-shift schooling in rural areas in order to tackle down the shortage of schools for girls (UNICEF Regional Office of South Asia, 2014).

References
Rosati, F. C.; Lyon, S. 2006. Non-Formal education approaches for child labourers: An issue paper. UCW (Understanding Children’s Work). http://www.ucw-project.org/attachment/standard_NFE_and_CL_17nov2006.pdf

Sperling, G.B; Winthrop, R.; Kwauk, C. 2016. What works in girl’s education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. Retrieved from: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/What-Works-in-Girls-Educationlowres.pdf

UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. 2014. All Children in School By 2015, Global Initiative On Out-Of-School Children: South Asia Regional Study Covering Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Kathmandu: UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. Retrieved from: http://www.indianet.nl/pdf/GlobalInitiativeOnOut-Of-SchoolChildren.pdf

Policies for children with disabilities

Promising policy options

Choose the most adapted model and schooling timetable

There is a significant lack of research regarding the effects of a double-shift schooling system on children with disabilities’ access to schooling and their learning achievements in mainstream settings. Yet, in certain contexts and under certain factors –such as an elevated pupil to teacher ratio– educational planners could study the possibility of implementing such a policy (UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, 2014).

Multiple studies show contradictory and insufficient findings concerning the learning achievements of children in double-shift schools. Thus, Ministries of Education should track the progress of children with disabilities enrolled in this type of school and make necessary accommodations accordingly (PASEC CONFEMEN, 2015). Additionally, a possible solution to compensate for the reduced instruction time could be to increase the number of school days per year. This measure could lead to learning advantages for children with certain disabilities for whom long breaks widen their learning achievement gap (Sellors, 2017; Zachry, n.d.).

References
PASEC CONFEMEN (Programme d’Analyse des Systèmes Éducatifs de la Conférence des ministres de l’Éducation des États et gouvernements de la Francophonie). 2015. PASEC 2014 Education System Performance In Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa: Competencies and Learning Factors in Primary Education. Dakar: PASEC CONFEMEN. Retrieved from: http://www.pasec. confemen.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Rapport_Pasec2014 _GB_webv2.pdf

Sellors, A. 2017. How Do Year-Round School Calendars Affect Students With a Learning Disability? Accessed 19 July 2019: https://classroom.synonym.com/yearround-school-calendars-affect-students-learning-disability-16738.html

UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. 2014. All Children in School By 2015, Global Initiative On Out-Of-School Children: South Asia Regional Study Covering Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Kathmandu: UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. Retrieved from: http://www.indianet.nl/pdf/GlobalInitiativeOnOut-Of-SchoolChildren.pdf

Zachry, A. n.d. ‘Potential Effects of Summer Break on Student with Disabilities’. In: Special Ed Information for Teachers & Parents, Bright Hub Education. Accessed 19 July 2019: https://www.brighthubeducation.com/parents-and-special-ed/75880-effect-of-summer-break-on-students-with-disabilities/

Widespread implementation

As mentioned in the general section, it is of utmost importance to guarantee large-scale implementation, so that this system is not applied solely to the most disadvantaged groups, such as children with disabilities.

References
Linden, T. 2001. Double-shift Secondary Schools: Possibilities and Issues. Washington, D.C: The World Bank. Retrieved from : http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EDUCATION/Resources/278200-1099079877269/547664-1099079967208/Double_shift_secondary_schools_En01.pdf

Policies for displaced populations and host communities

Contents under review

References
UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees). 2016. Global Trends – Forced Displacement in 2016. Retrieved from: http://www.unhcr.org/statistics/unhcrstats/5943e8a34/global-trends-forceddisplacement-2016.html

Christopherson, M. 2015. Securing Education for Syrian Refugees in Jordan. Retrieved from: https://www.ipinst.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IPI-E-pub-Securing-Education-forSyrian-Refugees.pdf

Human Rights Watch. 2017. Jordan: Further Expand Education Access for Syrian Refugees. Retrieved from: https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/08/16/jordan-further-expand-education-access-syrianrefugees

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2017. Education. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/jordan/2_Education_-_2017(1).pdf

Bray, M. 2008. Double-shift Schooling: Design and Operation for Cost effectiveness. IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0016/001636/163606e.pdf

World Bank. 2016. Learning in the Face of Adversity – The UNRWA Education Program for Palestine Refugees. retrieved from:  http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/683861468000250621/pdf/100532-PUBBox393232B-OUO-6-PUBDATE-11-11-15-DOI-10-1596978-1-4648-0706-0-EPI-146480706X.pdf

Patrinos, H. 2016. Resilience, Refugees, and Education for Change. World Bank. Retrieved from: http://blogs.worldbank.org/education/resilience-refugees-and-education-change

USAID. 2017. USAID Non-Formal Education Program. Retrieved from: https://www.usaid.gov/jordan/fact-sheets/usaid-non-formal-education-program

Policies for minority populations

Contents under review

References
Bray, M. 2008. Double-shift schooling. Design and operation for cost-effectiveness. IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000163606

The Print. Delhi govt asks schools to allow random police checks in their premises. Printed on 28 July, 2019. Retrieved from: https://theprint.in/india/governance/delhi-govt-asks-schools-to-allow-random-police-checks-in-their-premises/268972/

Mariam Orkodashvili. 2009. Double – shift schooling and EFA goals: assessing economic, educational and social impact. Retrieved from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED510593.pdf

World Bank. 2001. Double-shift Secondary Schools: Possibilities and Issues. Tony Linden. Retrieved from:http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EDUCATION/Resources/278200-1099079877269/547664-1099079967208/Double_shift_secondary_schools_En01.pdf

Updated on 2021-10-08

Related Articles

Back to top