MP for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
MP for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Former Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has said the recent challenges with the Computerised School Selection Placement System (CSSPS) have been caused by the government.

The CSSPS matches Junior High School (JHS) graduates with Senior High Schools they wish to attend based on a myriad of criteria. The criteria include the aggregates of a student in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and whether they chose the secondary school they wish to attend as a first, second, third, fourth or fifth choice and whether they wish to attend the school as a boarding or day student.

This year, like previous years, there have been complaints by some parents that their wards have been placed in schools that were not part of the five schools they selected.

Speaking on the matter, Mr Ablakwa, who is the Member of Parliament for North Tongu in the Volta Region, said Saturday on MultiTV/Joy FM’s Newsfile that the challenges have come about because the current administration failed to learn critical lessons from the previous administration.

“I do take issues with some of the measures that government has implemented. I think that they have aggravated the problems and created more troubles for themselves. For example, why change the software three months to such a major exercise?” the oppostion National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislator said.

According to him, the current administration caused the Ghana Education Service to change the old CSSPS system three months to the start of the placements.

“You don’t do that because for these things you need to do test runs,” he admonished government.

He also faulted a policy to reserve 30 per cent of the secondary school placement to students from public schools, suggesting that the figure was too high.

“When you introduce a 30 per cent reservation for students from public schools you make the problem even more acute in terms of providing space for these students to enter. I understand the policy. I support the affirmative…but we have to be scientific about it,” he said.

He added, “30% is too high and in my view, that is what has even further worsened matters.”

The third cause of the CSSPS challenges is a decision by government to replace key personnel at the CSSPS Secretariat with new ones.

“Why do we virtually have to replace experienced hands at the CSSPS Secretariat? I would have thought that at least they will keep the experienced hands,” he noted.

Watch more from the discussion on Newsfile in the video below.