On August 30, 2017, the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) announced the release of the list of successfully placed 2017 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates into senior high schools (SHSs), and technical and vocational institutes of their choice.
As usual, the announcement was greeted with anxiety as parents and candidates besieged the premises of the Ministry of Education and the CSSPS centre to verify the situation and be assured of admission.
While some parents were on the premises to solicit the possibility of changing the schools their children had been given to other preferred schools under the CSSPS, others were there to launch complaints that they were being turned away from the schools because the headmasters and headmistresses were not at post as they were attending their annual conference in Ho.
Another group of parents was also there to seek answers to how it could access the website of the Ghana Education Service (GES) provided for parents to either do the self-placement or print out their admission letters.
The latter was because the website, www.myjhsresult.net, which was provided by the GES was not responding or was very slow to open. That sparked some anxiety as parents had limited time to get their children registered or do the self-placement exercise before the reopening date of Monday, September 11, 2017.
As part of measures put in place to address the situation, the GES introduced another website: www.cssps.gov.gh, to assist parents and candidates to find schools.
Additionally, the ministry last Thursday directed heads of second cycle schools to mandate their assistants to kick-start the admission registration for parents who called at their schools with their children.
Thankfully, yesterday, the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, directed that those first-year students who had successfully completed their registration exercise could report to school on Monday and those who had not yet completed the self-placement and printing of the admission letters could continue with the exercise until the end of September.
The Daily Graphic thinks this must be refreshing news to parents and candidates, especially those who are still struggling to get through the process.
It is in light of this that we appeal to parents to exercise patience as the government takes various options to ease the challenges they and their children are going through.
We, however, implore the CSSPS Secretariat and all officers entrusted with the responsibility to ensure that the exercise is executed to the best of their abilities to reduce the mental torture parents and their children are going through.
The Daily Graphic urges parents to accept the schools their children have been placed in, since they are part of the four choices the candidates selected.
Let us all help to make the CSSPS placement credible and acceptable to everybody for the successful implementation of the Free SHS policy.