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The CSSPS will never place you in a school you didn’t choose – Deputy Director-General, GES

Deputy Director-General for Quality & Access, Ghana Education Service (GES), Dr. Kwabena Bempah Tandoh has refuted claims that students under the CSSPS are deliberately denied admission into senior high schools of their choice.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, he categorically stated that CSSPS is merit-based.

“It is totally merit-based; first by school choice, it is merit-based by programme and by the residential preference of the student,” he said and further explained that “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 then the residential preference of the student.”

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

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Dr. Bempah Tandoh explained that students may not have gained admission or were displaced due to a number of reasons. Apart from not meeting the criteria (with regards to grades), Dr. Bempah Tandoh stated other factors including the residential preference of the student.

He said there have been instances when students did not gain admission, not because they got bad grades but because of their residential preference. Clarifying his statement, he noted that though there may be admission slots in a school, a student would not be placed because his residential preference is boarding, while the remaining slots are for day students only.

He cited for instance, “in a situation where three students who want to pursue the same course are competing for space in the same school with boarding as their residential preference, the students will be ranked in order of performance – first by aggregates – and where there is a tie in aggregates, it will be ranked by raw score and even though there were 2,000 students that chose science, Prempeh college has space for only 200 spaces for science students.

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“Out of those 200 spaces, 150 of those spaces are boarding. This means the 2,000 people that chose Prempeh are only competing for 150 spaces and those who don’t qualify are moved to their second choice and there they go through the same cycle to compete for space.”

He said another factor affecting student placement is the fact that students bank all their hopes on their first-choice schools.

He noted that though there are other equally good schools, students get fixated on their first choices, thus when they don’t meet the criteria and are not selected, it becomes a challenge.

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

He, thus, cautioned students against this practice in order not to feel disappointed.

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