Just a little over 50 per cent of candidates who sat for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) qualified for placement into senior high schools and technical institutes.
According to the released results, out of a total of 395,649 candidates who wrote the examination, only 198,642 qualified for placement under the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).
To quality for placement, a candidate has to get a minimum score of grade five in all the core subjects, namely English, Mathematics, General Science and Social Studies, and in any other two best subjects. This should give a candidate a minimum of aggregate 30 to get placement.
However, if a candidate scores grade six in any or both of the two best subjects, the candidate should have a grade better than five in any of the core subjects to qualify for placement.
The Co-ordinator of the CSSPS, Mr Andrew Akuoko, told the Daily Graphic that more than 98,000 vacancies had been declared by heads of schools to cater for the incoming first-year students.
He said the CSSPS Secretariat had received the raw cores of candidates from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to start the placement exercise.
Presently, he said, the information provided by WAEC and the choices made by candidates, among other things, were being studied to check for errors.
“When all these are done, the process for the placement of the candidates begins,” he said, adding that the placement would be done in the shortest possible time for first-year students to report at school on time.
Mr Akuoko said some of the private schools which registered with the Ghana Education Service (GES) were yet to declare their vacancies, but the secretariat would not wait for them before going ahead with the placement exercise.
He said, for instance, that out of the 54 technical and vocational private schools that registered, only seven had declared their vacancies, while about half of the 72 private senior high schools were yet to do same.
“Regardless of that, we would go ahead with the placement of the candidates,” he said.
Mr Akuoko urged candidates and their parents to accept the choices they made in the selection of schools as they would not be allowed to change schools.
The GES last year instituted measures to address bottlenecks associated with the CSSPS to enable it to conduct the exercise in a smooth, efficient and reliable manner.
Among the measures were the categorisation of senior high schools into seven groups to make selection easy to ease pressure on the so-called Ã¢â‚¬Å“endowed schools” and the increase in the number of schools chosen by students from three to six to enhance their chances of placement.
During the first placement exercise in 2005, 151,016 out of a total of 177,070 qualified candidates were placed in senior high and technical schools.
In 2006, 308,379 BECE candidates registered and 160,119 qualified for placement. A total of 145,961 candidates were placed and 3,031 deferred their placement.
More than 188,881 candidates were placed in 2007, while about 179,000 were placed last year.
The CSSPS was introduced in 2005 to replace manual selection process, which was said to be cumbersome. There were also allegations of corruption and favouritism under that system. The CSSPS aims at promoting efficiency, transparency, fairness, equity and speed among other things, in the selection process.
In a related development, Mr. Joseph Adjei, President of Ghana National Association of Teachers, said out of the 198,642 who qualified for placement under the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System, only 66% would get admission into the various schools.
He told Joy FM Super Morning Show on Thursday that some of the students would not accept some of the schools they would be posted to.
Mr. Adjei charged stakeholders in education to Ã¢â‚¬Å“take education matters [in the country] very seriousÃ¢â‚¬Â; noting that Ã¢â‚¬Å“several factorsÃ¢â‚¬Â accounted for the abysmal performance of pupils.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Parents, teachers and students should share the blame,Ã¢â‚¬Â he opined.
He urged students to study their books after school hours; he also appealed to the government to boost morals of teachers so that they would also Ã¢â‚¬Å“give their very bestÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Mr. Adjei also emphasized the need to allow pupils who fail their examinations to re-sit in order to better their grades