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Opinions Sun, 8 Nov 2015

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Admissions nightmare again

The admission nightmare is here again. We are constrained to deal with this subject because of its resurgence.

After making good grades, children are unable to gain effective admissions into schools to which they were posted by the computerised placement system, leaving their parents and guardians to suffer the telling ordeal of visiting schools for umpteenth times.

Of what use is the placement system if parents would still go through the kind of stress we are witnessing now?

It is unacceptable that in this day and age systems such as the school placement system adopted to obviate the kind of challenges about which we are reading and witnessing are still prevalent.

The scene in some schools, especially the so-called high notched ones, can best be described as chaotic as parents are virtually chasing headmasters and in most cases assistant headmasters who are in-charge of admissions.

The Wesley Girls High School was in the news yesterday: parents and their children make daily visits to the school to find out why in spite of their kids’ placement in the school, they still cannot be admitted. The same can be said of other schools.

While some of their mates are already in school, there are students who because of the admission blues cannot make it, their fate for now undeterminable.

The unsubstantiated allegation that GH¢2,000 is being demanded from parents whose children have been offered admissions but cannot be really admitted because, as they are told, there is shortage of accommodation must be probed.

Although difficult to substantiate, it is too serious to be confined to the backburner to burn out. The admission season should not be considered a milking period by school authorities. We doubt though if such an investigation can make any headway, given the fact that nobody who has parted with so much money to gain admission for their kids would be willing to make the necessary appearance as demanded in such probes.

It is instructive the response of the assistant headmaster of Wesley Girls High School as contained in a report in the Daily Graphic of Thursday, November 5, 2015 when fielding questions on the issue. “I do not know how they got their forms. This is Ghana, everything is possible,” he said.

With no directive from the Ghana Education Service (GES) to admit students whose names were not on the admission list in the school as the assistant headmaster said, the problem gets even murkier; and for the parents and their children, more legwork or connections to some highly placed politicians could do the magic.

The “in Ghana everything is possible” remark by the assistant headmaster as quoted in an earlier paragraph is instructive.

A country where systems work and human intervention reduced to the barest minimum is one which we dream about.

If things work this way in other countries, why can’t they do the same here?

Columnist: Daily Guide

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