Chaos at Independence Square over secondary school placement

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There is absolute chaos at the Independence Square where over five thousand parents have gathered to sort out the placement issues for their wards 

The Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) has been fraught with problems denying hundreds of children the opportunity to get into secondary school.

The CSSPS is to match Junior High School (JHS) graduates with Senior High Schools they wish to attend based on a number of criteria.

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The criteria include the aggregates of a student in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and whether they chose the secondary school they wish to attend as a first, second, third, fourth or fifth choice and whether they wish to attend the school as a boarding or day student.

Like previous years, there have been bitter complaints this year by some parents that their wards have been placed in schools that were not part of the five schools they selected.

Some have also been posted to schools in other regions but as day students while others though have visited the schools they were posted to only to realize their names did not appear at these schools.

The Ghana Education Service has set the Independence Square as a venue for addressing the issues, however, the numbers are already overwhelming staff of the service.

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There are unimaginable scenes at the Square as authorities attempt to categorize parents according to their problems. 

Guardians and wards are seen running from one end of the square to the other trying to best find the queues that best address their issues.

Meanwhile, former Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has accused the Akufo-Addo administration of compounding the situation.

According to him, three decisions taken by the government has led to the ensuing chaos.

He stated that the government compelled the GES to change the old CSSPS system three months to the start of the placement.

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This, he said, should not have been done because the system needed to be tested before applying it for the placements. 

Government, he said, also introduced a policy to reserve 30% of secondary school placements to students from public schools. 

He noted that this number is too high thereby further worsening the situation.

The third cause of the CSSPS challenges, he said, is a decision by the government to replace key personnel at the CSSPS Secretariat with new ones.

These experienced hands, he said, could have minimized the situation, especially since government chose to introduce a new system.

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