08.09.2004 General News

Exercise to select students for SSS takes off

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Cape Coast, Sept 08, GNA - Aggregate six seems to be the cut-off point for some senior secondary schools in Cape Coast at the selection of candidates who sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) this year.

Speaking to newsmen at the start of the selection exercise to admit candidates to schools in the Central Region on Wednesday, Mr Crosby Ashun, the Headmaster of Mfantsipim School, said the cut-off point for candidates who want to offer science in his school, will be eight ones and aggregate 10 for those offering visual arts.

On Tuesday, the eve of the selection exercise, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Ghana Education Service Council issued a directive that this year's selection for each school should not exceed 500 students.

Mr Ashun, who is also the Chairman of the Central Regional branch of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), called for an upward review of school fees "to reflect real life situations".

Mrs Betty Dzokoto, the Headmistress of Wesley Girls High School, said her school could admit 381 of the 1,236 qualified candidates who had chosen the school as their first choice.

''This is irrespective of the fact that 360 candidates qualified for the cut-off point of six ones in general science, visual arts and home economics.''

Mrs Dzokoto explained that her inability to admit the required number of qualified candidates of 500, as directed, was due to inadequate facilities in the school.

Mr Mohammed Ackonu, the headmaster of the T.I. Ahmadiyaa Secondary School at Gomoa Potsin, told newsmen that the cut-off point for his school is aggregate 18.

Mr Ackonu said the school intends to admit a maximum of 250 students but so far only 120 candidates have selected the school as their first choice.

Mr M.K. Nsowaah, the Acting Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES,) said the ministry and the GES have adopted a new system known as the computerised school selection and placement system (CSSPS). He said the system, which would become operational from September 2005, would make it possible for candidates to be selected and placed by computer according to merit, choice of school and the availability of vacancies in the schools selected.

''CSSPS would make selection and placement of candidates very efficient and less cumbersome and would not permit anything like 'last minute changes' where parents wait until the BECE results are released before selecting schools for their children.''

Mrs Justina Torjagbo, the Regional Director of Education, called on heads of institutions not to lose sight of the fact that the pass mark ranges from aggregates six to 30. She appealed to them to be fair but very considerate of those from the rural and deprived schools.

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