21 June 2007

Ghana: Another 'Cocoa Season' Style for SSS Admissions?


SINCE THE introduction of the Computerised School Selection And Placement Systems (CSSPS), some Heads of second cycle public schools have not been comfortable with the System.

In fact, it was not a secret that admissions of JSS Graduates to SSS at the reopening of the academic year, was described as the 'cocoa season' for the Heads of those educational institutions.

So The Chronicle was not surprised to learn that Heads of 103 out of the 496 public second cycle schools nation-wide have failed to declare vacancies in respect of admissions of first year students for the 2007/2008 academic year, which begins in September.

And what marvels this paper is the refusal to declare the vacancies by these Heads. Is there any sinister motive behind this flagrant violation of the Ghana Education Service (GES) regulations pertaining to admission of first year students or is it just a deliberate attempt to revive the 'cocoa season'?

It is really amazing that as at June 17th, out of the 73 SSS in the Volta Region, 21 had not declared their vacancies while in the Brong Ahafo Region, only 18 of 55 had declared their vacancies. In the Ashanti Region, 12 out of 87 had declared; Eastern had only 8 out of 78 going according to the rules while in the Central Region, only 6 declared vacancies out of 49.

The Western Region did not fare any better as out of 41 SSS, 8 declared vacancies; In Northern region, 11 declared out of 49; Upper West, 9 out of 19; Upper East, 7 out of 21 and in the Greater Accra region, only three out of 388 declared vacancies; an appalling statistic for the nation's capital region.

These recalcitrant Heads can never plead any alibi because they have been fully aware of this obligation since SSCPS was introduced in 2005 and therefore have no excuse to give for flouting the directive.

One is tempted to read a lot of things into the behaviour of these Heads but it seems there is something burning under the kettle. For how could the Co-ordinator of the CSSPS, Mr. Andrew Asare know that some Heads deliberately declare vacancies to parents who in turn rush to the GES to request for placement into such schools? And this paper can bet you with all the tea in China that that gesture would never be free.

It is really a shame that our Heads of institutions, training our future human resource personnel to man this country, could plug their ears to educational directives and indulge in their own thing. It is on this note that The Chronicle supports the assertion of the CSSPS Secretariat that it will have no option than to use the undeclared vacancies by the defaulting schools last year to place qualified candidates who wrote this year's Basic Education Certificate Examination when the results are released.

This behaviour of the Heads of the defaulting schools is a big dent on their reputation and the earlier they change this attitude and declare their vacancies, the better it will be for them.

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