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Select SHS based on strength, GES advises BECE candidates

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
“It feels great to be back to school,” say these students of the Hallel School Complex at Kaneshie in Accra as they discuss what is expected of them as school re-opens. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA
“It feels great to be back to school,” say these students of the Hallel School Complex at Kaneshie in Accra as they discuss what is expected of them as school re-opens. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA

The Chairman of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Michael Nsowah, has advised this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates to be very careful in their selection of senior high schools (SHSs) and technical institutes (TIs) since the service will not allow any change of schools this year.

According to him, the selection of SHSs and TIs should be based on a candidate’s strength. Candidates must, therefore, ensure that they did the right selection of schools to avoid disappointment.

He explained for instance that if a candidate knew he/she was not good academically, there was no need for such a person to choose “big” schools.

That, he said, was because the candidate would not be able to compete with candidates with better grades.

“We want to ensure a smooth placement this year and we have put the necessary measures in place to realise this objective.

Stakeholders - candidates, their parents and teachers - must work together to make the right choices,” Mr Nsowah said in an interview with the Junior Graphic in Accra.

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He said to ensure a smooth exercise, the GES had sensitised teachers, parents and candidates of public and private basic schools in the country on how to go about the selection of schools to avoid making mistakes when choosing.

Mr Nsowah said candidates’ constant request for a change of school after placement on the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) had been a major problem.

“This creates problem for all of us because you cannot make a choice and later come back to change.

What you are telling us is that somebody who had selected the school you want to go to should be taken out for you to be placed there. This is not right,” he said.

The GES council chairman said candidates should also be careful about the selection codes for schools since the wrong selection of a code might result in a candidate being placed in a school they did not intend to select.

He said for instance, there were many Presbyterian SHSs (PRESECs) across the country, and so one needed to be meticulous when selecting the code for a PRESEC they wanted to attend so that they would not be placed in the wrong PRESEC.

He mentioned some of the schools as PRESEC Legon; PRESEC Teshie; PRESEC La and PRESEC Osu.

“If you make a wrong choice and you come for a change it will be rejected,” he emphasised.

Mr Nsowah appealed to parents to be involved in the selection of schools for their children and not leave the selection to teachers and head teachers alone only to come after the placement to complain that their children did not choose the schools they had been placed in.