08.09.2005 General News

Parents, candidates bitter about CSSPS

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Accra, Sept. 8, GNA - A number of parents and guardians on Thursday complained bitterly about the new Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS), saying it was frustrating them, their children and wards and called for a reversal to the old system.

Parents and guardians who had received admissions of their children and wards had gathered at the Secondary Division of the Ghana Education Service early on Thursday to express their disappointment at the new computerised system and to seek solution to their problem.

Some of the parents, who spoke to the GNA said they could not understand the way the selection and placement had been carried out. "Our children are crying because they have not been placed in the schools of their choice but they have very good aggregates," one parent said.

The parents who looked very devastated and disappointed claimed that some candidates with lower aggregates had been placed in very good schools.

They said their children and wards were placed in some private schools, which they could not even locate, instead of the public schools they chose. They added that they would not be able to pay the school fees in the private schools.

Mr. Jacob Yaw Waja, a parent, said the new system would worsen the education system and appealed to the government to review it before it was too late.

"My daughter is at home at the moment crying and has threatened to commit suicide if she does not get the school of her choice. I will take the government on if I return to find her dead."

He said the child attended school in Accra and chose Holy Child, Archbishop Porter School and Ghana National College but had now been placed in Tema High School, which is day school.

Mrs Irene Sarah Hesse, a staff of Lands Valuation Board, came with her twins who were crying uncontrollably. She said if there was any fault with the system, it should be reviewed. "My children had been weeping the whole night. I am stressed; I don't know what to do." She said if she wanted her children to go to a private second cycle school, she would not have wasted her money training them from preparatory school.

The twins said they selected Achimota School, Tema Secondary School and Nungua Secondary School but have been placed in Top Accountancy School and Catholic Social Advance, which are private schools without any boarding facility.

Some of the parents and guardians said they had wanted their children and wards to be in schools in the same region where they lived because of the fees and travelling expenses. Even if they were in the boarding schools in other regions they could have managed, they added.

Madam Innocent Andoh, a businesswoman, said she could not understand the placement system while Mr. Lawrence Agyapong, a teacher, said his child was placed in a private school, which did not even exist among the GES school placement register.

A staff of the Division directed them to the Secretariat of the CSSPS for the necessary attention. The Ministry of Education and Sports introduced the new system, effective this academic year because, it said, the manual system had for years been a source of stress and frustration to parents, heads of schools and candidates.

It noted that issues of missing cards, wrong choices, the rejection of second and third-choice candidates by some heads, inability of candidates to select schools from more than one region and a host of other problems had become the main characteristics of the manual system. The Ministry said unlike the manual system, which relied on the grades obtained in six subjects, the CSSPS would utilise scores obtained by candidates in six subjects; four core and two best subjects.

The four core subjects for Senior Secondary Schools are English Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science and Social Studies. For Technical/Vocational Institutes, the four core subjects are English Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Pre-Technical/Vocational Skills.

"Thus, the total marks obtained by candidates in six subjects will be used to rank candidates in order of merit for every school selected. Placement of candidates will therefore be strictly on merit and the number of vacancies available for every school.

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