Deputy Ranking Member of Parliament’s Education Committee, Clement Apaak following a school placement fraud claim by The Fourth Estate has asked the Ministry of Education to phase out the computerised SHS placement protocol.
In an interview monitored by AcademicWeek, the Builsa South Constituency Member of Parliament said the outcome of the ‘Placement for Sale’ exposé defies the reasons for which the computer school placement was instituted.
“The artificial system of placing students in Senior High Schools after their completion of Junior High Schools, was to take away the human element, to take away bias and to show fairness and equity,” Dr Clement Apaak told JoyNews.
Describing the computerised school selection and placement system (CSSPS) as nonsense, he said the office of the special prosecutor or the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) should take up the issue.
The Education Committee member’s comment comes after an investigation by the Fourth Estate indicated last year’s second-cycle school placement was monetized by some individuals who claim to be officials from the Ministry of Education.
According to the Estate’s report, computer placement into Category A or what could best be described as Top Senior High Schools (SHSs0 in the country was sold from GH₵10,000 up to GH₵ 7,000 by the self-acclaimed MoE officials.
Currently, the police have arrested eight suspects in connection with the school placement fraud uncovered by The Fourth Estate. None of them the Estate says are from the Education Ministry, GES or the Free SHS Secretariat.
Meanwhile, The Ministry of Education ahead of the release of the 2022 BECE school placement has warned students and parents not to pay any amount of money to any individual to secure their preferred second-cycle school choice.
In a statement shared with AcademicWeek, the Ministry said payment of any form of such money is illegal and that students who sat for the 2022 edition of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) do so at their own risk.
“Kindly be reminded that the computerized school selection and placement (CSSPS) process is purely on merit and no other consideration or whatever,” the statement signed by the spokesman for the Ministry, Kwasi Kwarteng said.
The 2022/2023 academic year computer school placement, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Education Ministry in an interview monitored by AcademicWeek.com said will be released in the coming weeks.
Asked if the investigation report by the Forth Estate will not affect the soon-to-be-released Senior High School placement, Kwasi Kwarteng said his outfit has put in place measures to ensure free and fair school postings.
“The school placement expose or documentary will not have a negative impact on the computer placements of students who sat for the 2022 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE),” the spokesperson said in the interview.