Dr Kwabena Bempah Tandoh

Deputy Director-General for Quality & Access, Ghana Education Service (GES), Dr. Kwabena Bempah Tandoh has said 90% of the spaces in senior high schools are reserved for merit-based admission.

The remaining 10% of admission slots are reserved for protocol.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday, April 6, he clarified that this is because, “there are old students, so there are legacy admissions in every school.”

Also, “there are teachers who work in schools who would also want the benefit of their children being admitted in that school.” The Deputy Director-General for Quality & Access, said these teachers are also given slots under the 10% protocol arrangement.

Dr. Tandoh noted further that, “in Ghana, most of our schools are mission schools and the missions themselves sometimes need spaces, especially in the seminaries for the seminarians, then we have the staff of GES and the Ministry and others who request protocol based on their relationship with staff within the GES and other key stakeholders.”

He explained that, “every school in this country sits on the land of traditional rulers. Traditional rulers are largely one of the largest requests for protocols. One of the key ways children are able to go to some of these schools is that they go to the Paramount Chief, and the chief, through his protocol to ensure that they gain admission to the school of their choice and this happens all across the country but 90% of the spaces are reserved for merit-based admission.”

His statement was in response to concerns raised by parents in relation to the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).  

Some parents and students have been blaming GES for denying them admission into schools through the CSSPS. Dr. Bempah Tandoh refuted such claims, emphasizing that people are not deliberately denied enrollment or refused their choice of school.

He stated that such claims cannot be accurate because, “the CSSPS which is merit and algorithm-based will not put anyone in any school you did not choose.”

Dr. Bempah Tandoh clarified that students are either denied admission or displaced due to a number of reasons.

“What we realise is that, everyone is focused on their first choice. After that, they don’t think anything else is part of what they selected, but since 2017, we have gradually moved from 3 choices to 4, and 5 and 6, but what we consistently see is that people bank all of their hopes on their first choice.

“The system picks all students and ranks them by performance, first by aggregates and when there is a tie, they rank them by raw score, the choice of course, and the residential preference of the student.

“It is totally merit-based, first by school choice, it is merit-based by programme and by residential preference by students,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, a nationwide self-placement exercise under the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) which started on Monday, March 28, 2022, is still ongoing.

The exercise, which is being done in all the 16 regions across the country for 187,542 candidates, will enable the affected candidates to select new schools since they could not get placed during the automatic placement.

Briefing the media in Accra on Tuesday, the Deputy Coordinator for the Free Senior High School (FSHS), Nana Afrah Sika Mensah, said a total of 75 personnel of the FSHS Secretariat have been trained on good customer service skills to assist parents and students with any challenges they may have with placement.

She, thus, urged parents to take a keen interest in resolving issues at their various regional resolution centres themselves instead of engaging agents or people at internet cafés who would not get them the right answers to their questions.