A backlog of 16,000 qualified Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates are yet to be placed in senior high schools and technical institutes following the placement of 16,764 more qualified candidates by the Ghana Education Service (GES) last week.
Explaining why the backlog occurred, the Director of Basic and Secondary Education Unit of the GES, Mr Stephen Adu, said the candidates failed to take advantage of the mop-up programme to contact the heads of their former junior high schools (JHS) to find placements at the second cycle schools with vacancies.
The placement of the 16,764 candidates brings the total number of candidates who have been placed in second cycle schools this year to 156,242.
The first batch of 139,478 qualified candidates were placed in September, this year.
However, Mr Adu told the Daily Graphic that there were vacancies for the 16,000 candidates, and that all they needed to do was to contact heads of community senior high schools with vacancies for placement or their heads of basic schools chose from the list of vacant schools.
He said the heads of community schools were expected to submit the names of the qualified candidates to the GES to formalise their placement into second cycle schools.
The GES, on September 16, 2008, released the placement of 139,478 candidates, including 1,579 re-entry candidates. It said the figure was out of a total of 173,315 candidates who qualified for the placement.
Parents whose children were not placed during the first exercise expressed their frustration with the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) and urged the GES to improve on the efficiency of the system.
Following that, scores of parents continued to besiege the GES Headquarters with their children, in search of schools.
According to Mr Paul Kofi Krampa, Deputy Director, Public Relations Unit of the GES, all the 16,764 candidates were to contact their former JHS heads, as well as the district and regional offices of the GES, from Monday, November 7, 2008, to know their placements.
A release from the GES said candidates could, however, access their placements on MTN 1755, 1756, Kasapa 7777 from Monday, November 3, 2008.
It said heads of community senior high schools, which still had vacancies, should compile lists of qualified candidates who sought admission to their schools, adding that the lists should be forwarded to the District Education Office for approval at the headquarters.
“It must be noted that only the 287 schools that had vacancies after the initial placement are to undertake this exercise. The GES, once again appeals to parents and their wards, to accept placement based on the choices they have made,” it said.
The statement expressed the hope that the public would co-operate with it to complete the 2008 exercise by November 15, 2008.
Story by Emmanuel Bonney