THE COMPUTER Selection Programme (CSP) introduced by the Ministry of Education, whereby a well-programmed computer selects a Second Cycle Institution for Junior Secondary School graduates, has been detected to have negative consequences on the Second Cycle Institutions nationwide.
Since the inception of the CSP, the 'Alma Mater' groups of the various second cycle schools who since time immemorial have been assisting their former schools in the form of infrastructure, logistics, funds, among others, have reduced their activities.
“The introduction of the CSP has debased we the Alma Maters from bringing our wards who are well qualified into our former schools to benefit from our efforts.
“This new development has infuriated our members who have been dipping deep into their pockets all those years to ensure the proper development of their former schools.” Their bone of contention is that, after using their resources on these schools, they would not get anything back due to the CSP, hence their decision to stay away from the Alma Mater groups.
An old boy of Opoku Ware Secondary School (OWASS) in Kumasi, Mr. A. Forson raised this concern while addressing the 55th Speech and Prize-Giving Day of OWASS in Kumasi.
The occasion was under the theme: “Ghana at 50 - Revamping Education for National Growth and Development.”
Mr. Forson has, as a matter of urgency, called for the review of the CSP adding, “they should reserve a percentage of the intake of the students into those schools to we the Alma-Mater in a form of protocol. This was the situation before the introduction of the CSP and we want it back in order for us to continue giving unflinching assistance to our former schools,” he noted.
In his address, the Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Papa Owusu Ankomah, urged the Alma-Mater groupings across the country to calm down and continue assisting their various former schools, promising that “the Ministry of Education is reviewing the CSP and favourable results would be released to the public soon.”
He identified teaching as the greatest profession, which is also vital to the development process of the country; “with all the infrastructure and facilities, without adequate teachers our efforts would be in vain. The teacher is the key to education and development,” he pointed out.
According to him, government holds teachers in high esteem, hence, its decision to increase teachers' salary by 30%, which is also bound to be improved upon in future, and advised all workers in the country to remain calm as government plans to restructure their pay.
Minister Owusu Ankomah revealed that, in an effort to provide quality education to help meet the human resource needs of Ghana and thereby position the country for accelerated national growth and development, government is well focused in giving this country a new educational reform experience.
“Among other policy objectives of the reforms, there will be a significant expansion of the number of institutions offering second cycle courses and secondary schools, as well as Technical, Vocational and Education Training (TVET) institutions would have to adapt in order to offer the comprehensive education to be implemented.
“Very serious consideration will be given to the expansion of technical education. In this regard, some secondary technical schools would be merged and well resourced to run purely technical programmes. Technical and vocational structured apprenticeship system will be put in place. In this regard, a structured four-year apprenticeship system would be developed with both practical and theoretical training.
“Government would soon roll out a programme to identify all employers who will be capable of providing an apprenticeship programme under the reforms so as to provide uniform training standards,” he noted.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr. Stephen Anokye, commended the government for assisting the school in diverse ways over the years, adding, “the school which now has a student population of 1,740, runs courses in General Arts, Business and Science.”
In a speech read on his behalf by the Bantamahene, Baffour Asare Owusu Amankwatia V, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, noted that the naming of schools after our past heroes was laudable. “It has the tendency of giving the students self-belonging, hence it should be upheld,” he said.
The School Prefect, Master Tweneboa Kodua, appealed to the government to ensure the completion of the construction of a boarding house embarked upon in the school to solve congestion problems.