The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has described this year’s allotment of senior high school entrants by the Computerised School Selection and Placement System as the best since its introduction in 2005.
He said, despite the challenges that have characterised the placements, the ministry has done everything to ensure the process to be the best compared to the preceding years.
“This year is the best year that we have had since we started in 2005, the records are there to show.”
Dr. Opoku Prempeh made the statement during a press conference held this morning at the Ministry of Information in Accra, to address issues surrounding this year’s school placement.
Chronicling events marking this year’s placement the minister said, the CSSPS released placements on September 9 giving the following details: 721 senior high schools across the country declared 520,298 vacancies. 512,083 results of BECE candidates were released by WAEC out of which 38,355 were disqualified for placement, either for failing Maths or Science.
He declared that even if the all the students had passed, they would have been no issues with vacancy.
He also noted that by the midnight of September 8, almost 75% of the students had been placed in schools based on their choices. The 25% of students left were given the opportunity to undertake self-placement.
The minister revealed that the CSSPS had a breach on its website on September 10, allowing some 22,000 students to place themselves in various schools, including schools that their results did not qualify them to select or schools that were without vacancy. An incident which compelled the ministry to shut down the self-placement system and annul all self-placements made at during that period. He said the system was restored on 12 September.
“8:47 am on September 10, we started getting reports from heads of certain category A schools that the number of students that were self-placing are going above the number of students, when you add it to the automatic placement that the school could contain.
Every school before we started had its ceiling, so Wesley Girls had a ceiling of 510 and they were calling back and telling us, Yaa Asantewaa said 97 more students have been placed in the school than allowable; Prempeh College talks about 47 and other schools gave these numbers. So we started investigations and we realised that there was something wrong.
So when we realised that there was something wrong we closed down the self-placement module, because we couldn’t allow that to continue.”
The minister indicated that having realised the breach, the system was worked on, restored and was fully functional until Monday, when officials at the Black Star Square, one of the help centres set up by the CSSPS to address issues with placements got overwhelmed by the number of turnouts mainly made up of people who were already placed but wanted to change their schools, prompting management to cease operations.
A day the minister described as a “black Monday”
“Things were going on normally till we hit the black Monday, I will describe it as a black Monday because the unexpected happened.”
He also asserted that the Monday incident was not only as a result of the CSSPS handling of things, but was fuelled by the doings of some mischievous persons who wanted to derail the objectives of government.
He apologised for any inconvenience caused as a result of the release of this year’s placement indicating that the ministry will work to avert any possibility of hindrances to the system in the future.