Free SHS admission blues… Parents storm Education Ministry

Hundreds of anxious parents and guardians on Tuesday massed up on the premises of the Ministry of Education in Accra to seek answers to the difficulties that have arisen from the school placement system which have affected their children and wards.

Majority of the parents and guardians arrived on the premises of the ministry as early as 7 a.m. with their children and wards because of the September 5, 2017 deadline given by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates who could not be placed in schools of their choice to go online and select from the options available by Thursday, September 7, this year.

This year’s challenges with the placement system occurred when parents and candidates of the 2017 BECE could not log onto the system to print their admission letters and do self-placement.

The old website, www.cssps.gov.gh, is said to have crashed, making it impossible for any person to log in to access the system.

The ministry announced a new website, myjhsresult.net, to replace the old one, but that too has become extremely slow.

Scene at the ministry

When the Daily Graphic arrived at the ministry, parents had massed up on the premises.

While some were seen standing at the entrance of the Posting and Transfer Room of the ministry, others were spotted sitting under a tree.

There was also a long queue at a parking spot close to the new Free Senior High School (SHS) Office, and as soon as the offices at the ministry were opened, parents began to force their way inside.

Ten minutes later, an official from the ministry came out to announce that the problem had been resolved and that parents could go back home and access the system.

Some of the parents, who claimed to have travelled from Kasoa, Nsawam and Tema in the Central, Eastern and Greater Accra regions, respectively, were unhappy when they were told to go back, but a number of them refused and rather asked the authorities at the ministry to assist them, else they would not go anywhere.

Parents angry

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, some of the parents registered their displeasure with the ministry, saying they were shocked that the ministry could not anticipate the challenges with the placement system.

They said although the challenges were not anything new to them, this year’s situation was a little overboard and wondered whether it had anything to do with the government’s free SHS policy.

“For me, they should have allowed us to pay the fees and this problem would not have occurred,” Mrs Regina Tawiah, a 47-year-old parent, said.

According to her, she and her 15-year-old son had been at the ministry for three-and-a-half hours but they were yet to speak to any official of the ministry.

Mrs Tawiah said although the announcement had been made that the problem had been rectified, she was scared to take the risk, adding: “I want them to help me solve it here.”

Another parent, Mrs Angela Duke, said she would not go anywhere unless the challenge with her daughter’s placement had been addressed at the ministry.

“I will wait for everyone to finish and then I will also go and do mine,” she added.

CHASS

Meanwhile, the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) has expressed concern over the government’s failure to release funds to all SHSs a few days to the reopening of schools on September 11, 2017, as earlier promised.

According to the headmasters, the government had promised that it was going to release funds to them two weeks before reopening to ensure the smooth implementation of the free SHS policy, but “although the free SHS is starting this September, we haven’t received the funds yet”.

“Now all headmasters are at conference and we hope that by the time we go back, the money would be in. We expect a Deputy Minister of Education at our conference this week.

“Perhaps when he comes he will be able to explain things to us. The classrooms, dormitories and beds are ready; it is left with logistics such as money,” the General Secretary of CHASS, Mr Samuel Gyebi Yeboah, said.

“We are optimistic that the government will release the funds to the various SHSs across the country,” he said.

Source: graphic.com.gh