Daily Graphic Editorials
Education Ministry must weed out miscreants
This time of the year is here with us again as parents of Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) graduates wait anxiously for the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) to release their children’s senior high school (SHS) placement.
Ahead of the release of the placement, the Ministry of Education (MoE) had cautioned parents, candidates and the public to be wary of imposters and report persons who approach them to pay money for placement in any SHS to the police.Subscribe
The caution further urged the public to beware of fake news portals and instead follow the official social media handles of the Ghana Education Service (GES).
The Daily Graphic sees the caution by the ministry and the GES as timely because one of the reasons for the resort to the CSSPS by management is to reduce, as much as practicable, the human factor in the placement process to ensure a smooth, merit-based SHS placement process under the established guidelines.
It is a fact that many parents, in their quest to secure the best foundation for their children, are prepared to go to any length to ensure that they get the best schools for the children.
Consequently, some unscrupulous staff of the ministry or the GES are often tempted to demand cash to help such desperate parents secure their choice of schools for their children.
The MoE caution follows the alleged taking of money from unsuspected parents by corrupt officials of the ministry under the pretext of offering their children their choices of schools.
The issue reached an alarming state some time ago, prompting the then Director-General of GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, to petition the directors-general of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service (CID) and the National Investigations Bureau (NIB) to investigate those allegations.
Following that request, the Minister of National Security requested the MoE to set up an independent committee to investigate and sanction culprits identified.
The report of the committee, we have learnt, is ready. We, therefore, urge the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, to ensure that it is made public and those found culpable are punished to serve as a deterrent to others.
We believe this is very important to ensure that members of the public clear their minds about the two top personalities.
As the placement is expected to be out this month, we are happy that Dr Adutwum has personally warned that anyone caught or cited for demanding money for placement will be dealt with drastically.
It must, however, be of interest to the minister that there are instances when people front for parents for a fee to use their acquaintances with officials of the ministry to secure placement.
Recently, we learnt that some eight individuals were picked up by the police for charging parents and others various sums of money and placing their children in some top-rated schools.
We believe that such an arrest is an opportunity and good lead to unearth those behind this shameful practice and the police must ensure that the investigations are carried out conclusively.
The Daily Graphic is worried that, according to the Ministry of Education, only two individuals had access to the grade ‘A’ schools, where the alleged charges were made for placement.
Considering the personalities and their pedigree in society, we are worried that people could have it in their minds that the Dr Adutwum and Prof. Opoku-Amankwa could be directly involved in this act.
That is the more reason we would want to see these two fine gentlemen clear their names.
The Daily Graphic is aware that the two have worked hard to rise to the status where they are in society and such corrupt practices should not in any way dent their hard-earned reputation.
We are worried that another placement is up again and the two reports are yet to be made public.
We believe that the outcome of the investigations could be useful and serve as a deterrent to others who are nursing similar intentions.
The Daily Graphic supports the steps taken so far to ensure that this corrupt practice is dealt with to restore the sanctity and the intent for which the CSSPS was introduced.