Accra, Sept. 19, GNA - The 2005/06 Senior Secondary School (SSS) academic year began on Monday but a number of parents and guardians of first year students are still trooping to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to find schools for their children and wards.
This is because they are dissatisfied with the schools in which their wards have been placed to begin the SSS programme, under the new Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).
Fresh students are expected to report at school on September 30. Though parents have been asked to write petitions some feel that they could get immediate admission for their children at the GES, Mr Paul Krampah, Public Relations Officer at the GES said. He said some 2,000 petitions had been recorded so far and more were still expected from the regions.
The GES announced at a press conference on September 15 that 7,000 vacancies still existed in 98 public secondary/technical institutes throughout the country.
This year a total of 287,294 candidates sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) out of which 177,070 scored between aggregate six and 30 and qualified for placement into Senior Secondary Schools (SSS) and Technical Institutions. Some 139,164 candidates have been placed in senior secondary schools and technical schools based on their first, second and third choices and programmes.
This announcement seemed to have caused a rush by many parents to the GES Public Relations Department to seek admission for their children.
Although parents are writing their petitions, some who spoke to the Some parents went as far as to the office of the Director General, Mr Micheal Nsowah but he told them that waiting at his office would still not solve their problem. It was only when the schools declared their vacancies that GES would be able to place the children, he told the parents.
Due to the overwhelming number of parents coming in he told them that they should send their petitions to the regional offices where all petitions would be collated and sent to the GES headquarters. He said parents would be informed about the second placement exercise through the media.
Some parents asked: "What if I do not have a radio, how will I hear the announcement?" They asked when the announcement would be made. Madam Stella Antwi, a businesswoman, said all her children had gone through public schools except her last one who was to go to SSS and had been placed in private day school.
She said she had been to the school and the environment was not conducive for learning.
"The fees alone are over 3.6 million cedis, uniforms about 500,000 cedis and textbooks about 750,000 cedis", she said, adding "and this is not even all. How can I pay all this?" She asked.
Madam Antwi said she wanted her daughter to have a good future and not to sit at Makola market like she was doing now.
A parent whose child was placed in a technical school, which has a boarding facility, said he did not like the placement because there was no future in technical school education. "What will he do there, the highest he can get to is Higher National Diploma at the polytechnics." The Public Relations Officer told the parent to change his attitude towards technical school education and to accept the placement since there was opportunity for the child to proceed to the highest rungs of the educational ladder through technical education but he insisted that senior secondary school education was better.