As parents struggle to find admission for their children into Senior High Schools (SHSs) through the online placement system, many youth in the Sunyani Municipality have taken advantage of the online exercise to better their lot.
Some of the teeming unemployed youth have set-up several school placement centers at vantage points in the regional capital, and they are making significant profit from parents
With a laptop, connected to the internet, the centers are rendering services to parents whose children have still not been placed in schools. They charge GHC 15 each per placement.
This year's Computerized School Selection Placement System (CSSPS) could not initially place a number of Junior High School graduates in their selected Senior High Schools.
The Government, has consequently, announced the extension of the placement exercise to Thursday September 7. The Government said all fresh students were also expected to arrive at their various selected schools on Monday, September 11.
The development comes amidst the Government’s determination to start the implementation of its Free Senior High School Policy this academic year, thus generating a lot of commentary in both traditional and social media.
Some parents and other key stakeholders in the education sector have said the policy would bring a great economic relief to Ghanaians, especially those with school-going children.
Last academic year, for instance, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) gathered that parents and guardians spent an average of not less than GHC 3,000 on their children who gained admission to SHS.
The fees cover tuition, library, admission, PTA and other expenses. However, the free SHS programme would cover all these fees. When the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited some of the centers in the Municipality, on Wednesday, parents and their children were seen in queues, anxious to do the placement. Frank Kofi Asante, one of the operators, told the GNA that he could attend to not less than 60 people every day.
But, he expressed discomfort with the poor network in internet accessibility, which he said, was slowing down the placement exercise.
At Emmatex Business and Solutions, the Centre was crowded and many of the parents and their children were also going through the process. Some of them had traveled from towns such as Atuahenekrom, Atronie, Wawasua and Antwikrom, where internet facilities are very poor to do the placement for their children and wards.
A JHS graduate, who spoke to the GNA on condition of anonymity, said there was no internet facility at her hometown.
Emmanuel Asante, a SHS graduate and operator of the Centre, told the GNA business was brisk as sometimes he could close from work at about 2200 hours.
The situation was not different from the more than eight centres the GNA visited in the Central Business District of the Municipality.
Meanwhile, many parents whose children were not captured by the CSSPS have appealed to the Government to extend the date of the beginning of the academic year in the area.
"We know our children are to benefit from the free SHS programme,” Madam Joyce Owusuaa, a parent told the GNA. “But that is not all because we must go to the schools and collect their prospectus. “The time is very limited so we are pleading with the Government to consider our plight and extend the date."