No Panic For BECE Candidates
The acting Director- General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Benedicta Naana Biney, who announced this at a press conference in Accra on Friday to throw more light on issues associated with the exercise, said out of 172,359 who qualified for placement, 228 candidates had not been placed. Meanwhile, a total number of 171,148 candidates, representing 98.8 percent, were successfully placed, after the initial placement exercise.
Explaining, she said such candidates were unplaced due to the fact that schools they chose did not have boarding facilities to cater for candidates from the other districts, while some of them could not meet the cut-off points of their six chosen schools.
Started six years ago to replace the Manual System of Selection and Placement into Senior Cycle Schools, the Computerized School Selection and Placement System takes into consideration three categories of candidates, thus, the existing year’s qualified candidates, re-entry candidates (those who sat for three years, 2007, 2008, 2009) and foreign candidates. The placement is done through a software, which has been specially developed for the exercise.
Madam Biney expressed joy over the improvement in placements this year, saying for the first time since the CSSPS was initiated, candidates have been promptly placed.
In spite of many challenges faced over the years, she pointed out that CSSPS has received public acclamation and confidence because of the principle of fairness inherent in its implementation, which is based purely on merit and candidates own choice of schools and programmes. She added that the use of scratch cards had eliminated the delay candidates encountered in processing placement forms.
Throwing more light on the guidelines used in the selection and placement process, the acting director said selection was based on five subjects and this comprises core subjects, namely, English, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Social Studies and one best elective subject of the candidates.
For the technical institutes, the subjects are English language, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Basic design and Technology and one best elective subject.
Other guidelines include the use of raw scores of candidates, where raw scores of five subjects are processed for the selection, instead of grades of each candidate. The rest are choice of schools from the regions, selection on merit and selection at cut-off point.
Madam Biney said candidates had to choose six schools and programmes, and that where there was a problem of non-placement after the 6th choice, such candidates would be listed and the list would be processed by the CSSPS Secretariat as special cases.
“The computer places all candidates into their first choice using the ranking order. The raw scores of each candidate are used to do the ranking. The ranking may displace 1st choice candidates and this principle also applies to placement of all candidates and is on merit only,” she noted.
On the criteria of selection at cut-off point, she said in the case of a tie in raw scores between candidates at cut-off point during selection, the computer considers firstly, English language scores followed by Mathematics, Social Studies/ Basic Design and Technology.
Madam Biney mentioned that despite the smooth running of the CSSPS, a few challenges are faced. She said sometimes, parents request for change of school after placements have been made, especially when their wards do not get their first or second choice schools. There are also instances where false result slips are declared, as well as the increasing number of re-entry candidates.
As part of plans to fully automate the placement process, she hinted that starting from this year, the placement form would be accessed on the internet and that successful candidates are required to print their placement form from the internet, using GES scratch cards which cost GH¢4 . The print out form would then be presented to the Senior High School for admission.
While asking parents to show an interest in the registration of their BECE candidates in order to help their wards in choosing schools, with advice from their teachers, Madam Biney implored all parents and candidates to accept placements since according to her, “it was based on your own choice of schools and programmes.”