General News of Tuesday, 17 September 2019
The Ministry of Education has said a technical hitch in the software that manages the Senior High School placements caused the widespread frustration on Monday.
Vincent Ekow Asafuah, the Public Relations Officer of the Education Ministry, said on Tuesday that Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) experienced some unexpected challenges that caused the huge numbers at the Black Star Square yesterday.
“We apologise to the people of Ghana,” he said on the Am Show on the Joy News channel on MultiTV.
Meanwhile, Joy News’ Komla Adom reports Tuesday from the Black Star Square that a more organised process has been ongoing.
“Several police officers have set up a barricade, ushering parents and students to the solution centre to get their issues addressed,” he the reporter said.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) had said previously that its self-placement module under the CSSPS was sabotaged by “bad” people resulting in the chaos with placements this year.Ekow Vincent Assafuah
According to the Deputy Director-General in charge of Quality and Access at the GES, Dr Kwabena Tandoh, it was for that reason that the module was temporally closed down.
Many parents have complained their children have been wrongly placed by the CSSPS.
Reiterating the point that the students were placed on merit and in accordance with the choice of school, Mr Tandoh said, the system was intact.
“We need to understand that we are living in a world now where there are a lot of people with very bad intention and so people with really bad intention are trying to do whatever they can to sabotage our system.”
“We have put a lot in place to ensure that the sabotage won’t happen. And so as soon as we detected that there is the likelihood that something is happening, the best thing to do to protect the integrity of the system we needed to shut the system down and see where there are possibilities of sabotage, correct it and put it out there.”
“This is not as though the system is not good because if the system was not good then we wouldn’t have been able to detect it,” he said.
Thousands of parents and guardians whose children and wards failed to secure a space in their chosen senior high schools, besieged the Black Star Square on Monday morning to secure placement.
The exercise at the Black Star Square is to enable qualified students to get a placement at a school they may not have chosen but has space.
Monday’s exercise at the vast Black Star Square is also to enable other students to change their placements because the schools they have been given would not favour them for one reason or another.
Some students also had good grades that qualify them to be placed in their schools of choice but could not secure any placements. It is unclear why this happens although a lack of adequate space has often been cited.
Schools resume this week but a number of those who qualified could not be placed by the CSSPS.
In the melee at the Black Star Square, at least two teenagers collapsed while in a queue to get placement into a senior high school.
They are among the frustrated thousands, including parents and guardians.