Resolve CSSPS challenges once and for all

As it has been the case since 2005, the Gha­na Education Service (GES) has released this year’s Computerised School Selection Placement (CSSP).

According to the GES, a total of 538,399 Basic Educa­tion Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates qualified for admission to senior high schools (SHSs) for the 2023/24 academic year, but only 372, 780, representing 69.24 per cent of them, have automatically been placed in at least one school of their choice.

That means the rest would have to do self-placement, which is a hell for both the prospective SHS students and their parents or guardians, as well as officials of the education system who must assist with the process.

Thus, children and their par­ents have been thronging the self-placement centre in Accra, for instance, since Thursday.

Besides the issue of self-place­ment and attendant challenges, there are other complaints about placement of students of op­posite sex in single-sex schools, placement in non-preferred school or one not chosen by the student, allocation of wrong programmes and assigning of wrong status, which refers to whether a student should be a boarder or day student.

The CSSPS was intro­duced in 2005 to replace a manual system which was criticised for its problems.

The manual system was, for instance, said to very la­borious and time-consuming and constituted a source of worry, stress and frustration to parents, heads of second cycle institutions, candidates and other stakeholders.

Also, anxious parents had to travel to their children’s selected schools to check the admission and pay the admission fee promptly else their children would lose their placement.

The manual system’s high susceptibility to human ma­nipulation and machinations and other influences were also blamed.

For instance, some parents were alleged to have paid bribes to heads of well-en­dowed schools to secure placement for their children to the detriment of good students from poor homes, whereas others like old girls and boys associations, chiefs, public officials and other well-placed people in society also influenced admissions with their protocol lists.

In the face of all these problems or criticisms, the whole nation thought the CSSPS was going to bring a problem-free SHS place­ment, especially because it was going to, at least, mini­mise the human errors and accelerate the selection and placement process.

However, it seems the sit­uation has turned sour due to some associated issues.

For instance, in the era of manual placement, the cut-off point for admission was aggregate 30 for six best BECE passes and this was strictly adhered to as both parents and candidates accepted that.

Today, the government’s objec­tive of expanding second-cycle education to extend access to more children has come with its own challenges.

Now, aggregate 36 for the four core subjects plus best two subjects is the norm but since the introduction of the Free SHS policy by the Akufo-Addo administration, even candidates with aggregate of 42 are con­sidered for admission, coupled with the ever-rising number of candidates writing the BECE and wishing to enjoy the Free SHS offer. For now, one wonders if the CSSPS has succeeded in resolving the problems associat­ed with SHS placement.

Just imagine the Deputy Coordinator of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) Secretariat and head of the Greater Accra Resolution Centre, Nana Afra Sika Mensah, cautioning parents against paying money to anyone at the centre on the pretext of resolving issues with their chil­dren’s placement.

In the circumstances, the government needs to take a critical look at the recurring SHS placement problems and resolve them once and for all.

Show More
Back to top button