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We want more students - Private SHSs cry out
General News of 2013-12-18

We want more students - Private SHSs cry out

Many private senior high schools (SHSs) in the country may not get enough first-year students for the 2013/2014 academic year.

This is because the Secretariat of the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) virtually placed all the candidates who wrote the 2013 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in public SHSs.

Consequently, the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) has accused the Ghana Education Service (GES) of embarking on the wholesale admission of candidates, irrespective of their performance, to public SHSs and technical institutes for the academic year.

As of November 1,2013, a total of 351,881 candidates had been placed, leaving only 40,000 yet to be placed.

More than 390,000 candidates wrote the 2013 BECE.

Criteria for admission

According to the criteria for selection into SHSs and technical institutions, a candidate is supposed to score not more than grade five in the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. In addition, the candidate is not supposed to score more than grade six in any other two subjects.

However, this year the GES admitted candidates outside the criteria for selection, hence the concerns of the GNAPS.

Admission crisis for private schools

The minimum intake of any of the 127 private schools is 120 students, while the maximum is between 1,400 and 2,000 students.

Briefing the Daily Graphic, Mr Godwin Sowah, the President of GNAPS, said the situation meant that some schools might not even get first-year students, while others might admit just a handful.

The result, he said, would be that most of the teachers would be redeployed because there would not be enough students for them to teach.

“Currently, almost all of us have asked most of our teachers to stay at home while we wait and see if there will be new admissions immediately after the Christmas festivities. Otherwise, we have no option but to ask them to stay away,” he told the Daily Graphic.

For instance, Mr Sowah, who is also the Director of the Haavad Schools Ghana Ltd, said his schools used to admit 1,400 fresh students every year, “but this year I only managed to admit 67 fresh students”.

Also, he said, Top Accountancy in New Town, Accra had only 15 fresh students as of the close of the first term.

GNAPS vindicated

He said the position of GNAPS had been vindicated with the report that the GES was in the process of withdrawing some of first-year students whose results were cancelled yet were “inadvertently placed in SHSs”.

“This is a clear indication that the placement exercise was done without recourse to whatever aggregates the candidates got. I know of a candidate who scored aggregate 50 and yet was placed by the CSSPS,” he stressed.

When the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) released the BECE results in September, 63 candidates had their entire results cancelled, while 748 candidates had the results of some of their subjects cancelled.