Mfantsipim School turns away first year students
Some first-year students and their parents who turned up at Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast with their trunks and chop boxes on Sunday, September 15, became stranded when they were turned away by the school authorities because the students had been wrongly placed.
The school authorities claimed the students, numbering more than 50, had been wrongly placed under the self-placement module of the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) and that they could not get space in the school.
The situation created panic, as the parents, some of whom had travelled from near and far, were in a fix as to what to do.
A disillusioned parent who spoke to the Daily Graphic said on arrival at the school, a notice on the bulletin board informed them that the school was not admitting first-year students who had done self-placement between September 9 and 11, 2019 because they were wrongly placed.
She said, however, that students who had automatically been placed by the CSSPS had been admitted in the school.
The notice, which was sighted by the Daily Graphic, was signed by the headmaster of the school and read: “Please all students who did self-placement from September 9 to 11, 2019 should kindly go to the placement portal to reapply.
“There was a technical hitch but it has been rectified. This is a directive to the general public, parents and students by the GES. The names of the affected students are not part of the list posted on the board. Sorry for any inconvenience.”
Visual Arts students
The parent told the Daily Graphic that her child was offered Visual Arts under the self-placement module and that most of the affected students were Visual Arts students.
She said following her son's placement, she picked up the prospectus last Wednesday and was asked to report to the school yesterday.
“My son was given Visual Arts. We came here on Wednesday after he had been placed at Mfantsipim and they gave us a prospectus. We’ve sewn uniforms, bought all the items and now they are asking us to go back home. We won’t go,” she said.
"When we came on Wednesday, they took our phone numbers and so if anything at all, they should have called us or sent us messages to that effect. The number of students doing Visual Arts on the notice board is just 22, and so parents suspect there is more to it than meets the eye. They say they are not admitting, but we have been given prospectus since last week to report today, only to be given this news," she added
From Cape Coast, Shirley Asiedu-Addo reports that the Headmaster of Mfantsipim School, Mr Manfred Barton Oduro, confirmed that some first-year students who turned up in the school could not find their names on the list.
He explained that the GES had earlier issued a statement directing those who did the self-placement between September 9 and 11, 2019 to go back to do the placement again.
Mr Oduro, who said he believed those students who were turned away with their parents were among those who did the self-placement within the said period, explained that the school could only admit those students if the CSSPS Secretariat furnished the school with their names.
He said all those students were Visual Arts students.
The GES last Tuesday announced that candidates who qualified to enter senior high schools, technical and vocational institutions but were not placed had the chance to do self-placement
According to the Head of Public Relations at the GES, Ms Cassandra Twum Ampofo, 122,706 candidates out of the 473,728 who qualified to be placed were expected to do self-placement.
She explained that by that system, a candidate who missed out on the placement under the CSSPS was required to go to the self-placement platform on the cssps.gov.gh or cssps.org to select his or her preferred school from a list of schools provided.
The self-placement module was, however, temporarily closed down last Wednesday to enable the GES to update the list of schools and programmes available on the module.
The GES further directed parents and their children who did self-placement between September 9 and 11 to reapply.
The module was reopened on Thursday, September 12, 2019.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director-General of the GES in charge of Quality and Access, Dr Kwabena Bempah Tandoh, in an interview last Friday with an Accra FM radio station, dismissed reports that some students had wrongly been placed by the CSSPS.
According to him, students were placed on merit and in accordance with their choice of schools.