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General News of Thursday, 19 September 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

We could’ve done better in resolving school placement issues – NAPO

The Education Ministry has admitted that it could have been more proactive at resolving the issues that characterized this year’s placement of students into Senior High Schools.

The Computerized School Selection and Placement System, CSSPS, was plagued with challenges with some students unable to access the website.

It led to thousands of students converging on the complaints centre at the Black Star Square with their parents to rectify the anomalies with their placement from Monday, 9th September.

The situation worsened on Monday when about five students collapsed.

Responding to the issues on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Sector Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, apologised to parents, guardians and students who endured the challenges at the complaint centre.

“Challenges do occur and so we set up the resolution centres because we genuinely knew that some people would have problems and so we set up 16 resolution centres across the country. We are very sorry for what happened in Accra because we could have done better, parents who still have challenges can still reach our call centre on 0307007777 and we will resolve their problems. We hope that as time goes on the system will get better.”

Thousands of students gathered at the Black Star Square in Accra from Monday, 9th September, seeking to rectify errors with their placement into Senior High schools.

The exercise was put in place to enable qualified students to get a place at schools they may not have chosen but have space.

As Senior High schools reopen this week, a number of the students who qualified have not yet been placed by the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).

Students who did not get schools were separated from those who wanted to change their statuses from day to boarding as well as students who wanted to change their schools altogether.

The Minister also insisted that people were bused to the Black Star Square to cause some of the chaos witnessed;

“All of a sudden, on Monday there were over five thousand people at the independence square falling over, holding brown envelopes, stampeding and shouting. Some of them, when asked, did not even know the schools they had been placed in or their results."

"What happened on Monday was not just ordinary people looking for placement, we have more than enough evidence to show that they were bused to the place and motivated to do what they were doing. These guys miraculously vanished on Tuesday not because the CSSPS has started working miraculous and resolving everybody’s issues on Monday.”

The Minister has come under attack with several people and organisations asking for his resignation over comments made about some people who he claimed staged chaos at the CSSPS resolution centre in Accra.



Earlier comments

Education Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh earlier insisted that the collapses and fainting spells of some of the parents and students at the Black Star Square were staged.

According to the Minister, some persons who wanted to mar the efforts of the Ministry to address the issues of placement of students into Senior High Schools bribed some people to feign exhaustion.

“We opened the centre at the independence square to address the needs of Ghanaians who want to go to school, but some evil people have decided to pay GHc 20 and GHc 50 to people to go there and stage fainting and collapse, yesterday some of the collapses were fake. I’m even wondering why they brought little kids to the center.”