The Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, has asked heads of second cycle schools to visit the GES website and constantly update their lists of fresh students.
He said the heads should not depend on printouts of lists of students to turn away candidates who presented to them their admission letters even if their names were not on the document that had been printed out.
“Some heads have been turning away prospective students and those already placed on the grounds that their names do not reflect in their system,” Prof. Opoku-Amankwa told the Daily Graphic in an interview, adding that heads who were unsure of their admissions could easily verify from the GES website, since all the heads had access to the system.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa was speaking at a press conference held on Friday in reaction to complaints that some heads of second cycle schools were turning away placed students on the grounds that such students did not have their names in their system.
The director-general said heads of senior high schools (SHSs) could update their lists by logging onto the GES website, www.cssps.gov.gh/shsheads, to verify the status of prospective students.
“Each head has been given a laptop with two loaded modems to facilitate this process.
“If any head has a challenge with the system, he or she can always rely on teachers of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in their schools for assistance,” Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said.
Training of heads and ICT teachers
The director-general said heads of schools had no excuse for going wrong because the GES had organised a training session for all heads and ICT teachers before the commencement of the placement system and it was expected that the latter would constantly get their heads of institutions updated on information on the website.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said statistics available indicated that some heads of second cycle schools had under-declared the number of students they were to admit.
He added that some schools were offered admissions far below the numbers they received last year, yet they complained of lack of space.
“We went through the list of students for schools that we have had complaints from and discovered that they have no basis for protesting, since they had admitted more students last year and have not come to us for resolution of any problems they may have encountered,” he told journalists.
Aggrey Memorial and Mamfe Girls’
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa cited Aggrey Memorial and Mamfe Girls SHSs as examples of schools that were offering admissions below their capacities.
For instance, he said, in 2014, Aggrey Memorial SHS admitted 1,118 students while in 2015 it admitted 820 students. In 2016, the school admitted 955 and this year, “it was presented with 450 students, yet the headmaster complained of congestion”.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said the Headmaster, Rev. Frankline K. Boadu, was invited to a meeting with the GES management yesterday to explain his position.
He added that though Rev. Boadu, after the meeting, apologised and had agreed to admit more students, the GES would nonetheless penalise him.
In the Mamfe Girls’ SHS case, Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said in 2016, the school admitted 900 students and this year the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) placed 770 students in the school, but the headmistress insisted that she could only take 400 students.
Placement so far
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa announced that out of the 424,000 qualified candidates that were earmarked to be placed in SHSs, 396,591 of them had visited the GES website and had printed their school admission letters.
He said on September 1, 2017 when the CSSPS released the initial list of candidates who had received placement in schools, 150,775 students who had qualified were not placed in any of their four choices of school and as such were granted the option to do self-placement.
“About 84.5 per cent of those who placed themselves selected their own schools and have proceeded from that point,” he said.