Barring any unforeseen challenges, the Ghana Education Service (GES) will today release the placement of students for the double-track senior high school (SHS) system.
The GES said as of Sunday, September 2, 2018, it was done with the placement of most of the candidates who sat for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), into SHSs and technical institutes (TIs), and that it was left with just a few of them to complete the process.
“As of Sunday night, we were at the tail end of making sure everything is okay,” the Chairman of the GES Council, Mr Michael Nsowah, told the Daily Graphic.
According to him, once the process was completed, the placement information would be sent to the National Information and Technology Agency (NITA) to be uploaded onto the various mobile telecommunications networks to enable parents and students to access it.
He said the service wanted to ensure that all qualified candidates were placed according to the choices they made during the selection of schools.
Mr Nsowah noted that the GES had to await the results of the BECE candidates whose results were withheld by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) before commencing the placement exercise.
“Fortunately, their results have been released and they will all be part of the placement. Normally we have to wait for their results because some of them may have better grades and you cannot do the placement without them,” he stated.
He said once the placements were out, the GES would come out with a short code for the various mobile networks through which candidates could check the schools they had been placed.
The GES Council chairman indicated that the service was trying very hard to avoid the situation where candidates would be asked to do a self-placement after the main placement exercise, as was the case last year.
“Once we are done with the placement, all the schools that are earmarked for the doubl-track will start the system. When the children go to print their admission letters, it will indicate which of the tracks they will be in. “Green means you are going ahead, yellow means you are going to wait, almost like the traffic light,” he explained.
However, he said, all of the two tracks would go to school at the same time to go through the registration process after which the Track 1 would begin.
Mr Nsowah advised parents and guardians to keep a close eye on their children and wards who would be at home waiting for their turn to go to school.
He indicated that any problem that would come out of the introduction of the double-track system would be addressed promptly.
The government has announced that from the 2018-2019 academic year, it will introduce the double-track SHS system to ensure that more BECE graduates have access to second-cycle education as a result of the increase in enrolment. The academic year is expected to witness a 31 per cent increase in the population of new students.
The double-track system, which was part of the free SHS programme introduced by the government last year, will reduce class sizes, increase contact hours, as well as increase the number of school holidays.
Statistics available show that from 2013 to 2017, a staggering 493,016 BECE candidates qualified to pursue secondary education but could not do so because they were not enrolled.
Under the system which has come under a raging debate since it was announced, a total of 8,872 teachers are being recruited to ensure that no teacher is made to overwork himself or herself.
The system, which is a temporary measure, is expected to last between five and seven years from the 2018/19 academic year. Four hundred out of the 696 SHSs in the country will operate the double-track system.