Ghana Education System – Computerized School Selection and Placement System

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin.

As a young African Woman I see education as the only connecting thread that can carry African to greatness, since without it you cannot contribute to your world positively. You can only go a mile further if only you have knowledge in the field you are in, and education is the only way to gain that.

In my view education creates opportunities for sustainable and viable economic growth now and into the future and it also helps people to work better, happy and appreciate diversity.

In every year more than 370,000 school children in Ghana write the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). Although the abolition of school fees and the provision of subsidies have really helped Ghanaian children, more than 40% of these children stay at home without going to senior high school or learning any vocation, after going through nine years of a compulsory system (ninth grade). Almost all the pupils who get to high school do so as a result of the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS), which was, introduced in 2005 after two years of working to ensure smooth operations.

The CSSPS is a system used by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to place qualified BECE candidates into Senior High School (SHS)/ Technical Institutes (TI)/ Vocational Institute.

The CSSPS, though embattled with many challenges seem to have instilled some level of sanity, fairness and ease into the admission of students into the selection of schools. It has also brought about improvements in certain hitherto dilapidated schools due to the fact that, some of the student whose parents happen to be influential people have risen to the occasion by speaking and gathering resources to make those schools in which their children are much better.  It has also, to some degree wiped out the rot of bribery in the admission process. Its functions have become a whistle blowing activity that alerts the government about the state of most of Ghana’s second cycle institutions and the need to improve infrastructure in every school.  It has also brought in the virtue of merit in the selection of students into certain school and has indirectly influenced the drive of students, school authorities and parents to provide conducive environments and material for the studies of their wards. It has promoted regional integration by enabling candidates to choose schools from any of the ten regions within the country. It ensures a more efficient and effective use of human and scarce financial resources of GES.

The CSSPS system has many challenges as computer errors are bound to happen irrespective of how one does data validation since systems can never be 100% accurate. Sometimes, for example, male’s students are posted to girl’s schools and vice versa. The Chronicle newspaper also indicates that some staff at the CSSPS Secretariat were manipulating the system to serve their interests by taking money from parents as a bribe, so that their wards were posted to schools of their own choice. Also many people are rejected by the computerized system.

To address these problems, the Ghana Education Service recently came out with a BECE re-sit examination policy which would serve as an opportunity for those who could not pass certain subjects and therefore were not selected for any school by the computer system. The government should also build more schools to ensure that all students get admission when their results comes out or offer them the chance to learn new skills while they prepare themselves for re-sits. Doing this will help to reduce social problems.

The system has not only brought about good governance but it put an end to anxiety, frustrations and confusion that qualify candidates were going through due to delays in the placement of such candidates, also to the benefits of the schools it has also help in ensuring that schools do not take more than their limits in order to hence good learning environment.

Difficulty in handling large numbers of qualified students as the number of registered candidates increased every year is now a thing of the past.

Again the system has made it easy access to placement results through SMS where a candidate only texts the candidates ID and instantly receives a reply on his/her placement status indicating the secondary school where he/she was placed and the program.

The environment in which students live, learn and the ways in which people work and live are constantly being transformed by existing and emerging technologies. The CSSPS systems is a clear example of how technology can support student performance, positive attitudes and motivation to create meaningful learning and the acquisition of basics skills and knowledge.












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