Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) has reiterated its call for the 30 percent priority placement for students from public schools policy by the Computerised Schools Selection Placement System (CSSPS) to be scrapped immediately.
According to the GNAPS, “in its current form, the CSSPS lacks three main ingredients of democratic school policy implementation: transparency, fairness and equity.”
In a statement issued and signed by its President, Dr Damasus Tuurosong, the association, citing the story of a student from a private school explained its reason, for calling for the abolishing of the 30 percent system.
“Beatrice (not her real name) exemplifies the plight of hundreds of children who complete privately-owned junior high schools in Ghana. For three years, she did everything that a good student must: attended classes faithfully, read her books, wrote her exams etc.
“Her dream was to make good grades and progress to one of the Grade A senior high schools in the country, and eventually graduate from a tertiary institution with a profession that secures her a comfortable livelihood. She emerged from the BECE with excellent grades, 9 straight Grade 1’s. After so much toil and sweat and in spite of her excellent grades, the CSSPS did not place Beatrice in her first choice school, Wesley Girls Senior High School,” the association narrated.
It continued that: “Meanwhile, her neighbour and friend who got aggregate 19, was placed in a Grade A senior high school of her choice. Where is the fairness? Beatrice’s only crime is that she attended a private junior high school, while her friend who got placed in an A-graded senior high school, attended a public school.”
GNAPS noted that from the close monitoring of the results of this year’s CSSPS across the country, it has observed “the cry of hundreds of private school candidates who had enviable BECE grades but were shortchanged in the school placement process.
“The reason for such discrimination against private school children is an unfair policy that allocates 30 percent of all available vacancies in Grade A senior high schools to BECE candidates who attended public schools, before the remaining 70 percent is shared on merit among all students,” it said.
According to GNAPS, “such an unfair policy cannot be allowed to curtail the hopes and aspirations of hardworking children.
“The trophy for good BECE performance must be an admission into a senior high school of one’s choice, and not relegation to a B or C-graded SHS.”
It stressed that it is “worried that BECE will lose its value if results of the exams do not count much in determining candidates’ progression to the next levels of education.”
“Does the MoE/GES appreciate the fact that there are private schools located in very remote parts of the country where no state school has been cited? Is the Ministry aware that some state schools are also located in economically advantageous parts of the country where they are provided with facilities that will be the envy of some of the best private schools in the country? So on what basis should the poor child attending a private school in Dandafuroin the Upper West Region be denied a Grade A SHS while his counterpart who attends a public school located in an up-market city of Ghana get a 30% head-start in the placement process?,” the association quizzed.
It, therefore, called on “all apostles of a just, fair and equitable education system to rise up and join GNAPS, and in one clarion call, demand an abolition of the obnoxious 30percent priority placement policy.”