In a surprising revelation, Sally Nelly Coleman, the Director of the Ghana Education Service in the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan, expressed deep concern over the absence of over 137,000 fresh students who were placed in the 2023 Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).
These students were allocated spots in Senior High Schools and Technical and Vocational Education and Training Schools across the country. The situation, according to Coleman, is indeed worrying and demands urgent attention.
Out of the 590,000 students placed nationwide, a staggering 453,000 have reported for admissions, leaving a significant gap of 137,000 students who have not yet made their way to their respective schools.
The CSSPS, a system designed to streamline the admission process, seems to face unexpected challenges as a substantial number of students remain at home despite the reopening date being set for January 3, 2024.
Daniel Vroom-Laryea, the Western Regional Chairman of the National Council of Parent Teacher Associations, shed light on the complexities surrounding the situation.
According to him, the unfavorable reopening time and financial constraints have contributed to students’ reluctance to attend school. Cocoa farmers in rural areas, for instance, are grappling with low yields, making it difficult for them to afford the expenses associated with sending their children to school.
Vroom-Laryea pointed out that the financial burden on parents has intensified due to various factors. Some parents are reportedly renting accommodations for their children, in addition to the costs of filling “chop boxes” (food containers) and purchasing essential items.
Contrary to expectations, the Free Senior High School Policy, aimed at making education accessible to all, is proving to be more expensive than anticipated.
Adding another layer to the challenge, Vroom-Laryea highlighted that the government’s restrictions on parental involvement exacerbate the situation. The Parents Association, he claims, is being prevented from supporting schools, even in cases where assistance is desperately needed. This restriction, he argues, hampers the effectiveness of the Free Senior High School Policy