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01 August 2017

Education Ministry maintains protocol admissions for free SHS policy

Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh

Heads of second-cycle schools would be allowed to admit students on protocol for sports and other considerations under the Free Senior High School Programme.

Education Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, says such admissions will be formalized through the Computerized School Selection and Placement System.

Implementation of President Akufo-Addo’s flagship campaign promise of free senior high school (SHS) begins in September.

Beneficiaries will pay no admission, library, science center, computer lab, examination and utility fees.

The policy will also cover second-cycle agricultural, vocational and technical institutions.

There were fears protocol admissions, which have suffered under the Computerized School Selection and Placement System, will be abolished.

 Dr. Opoku Prempeh, however, says the old-age arrangement will stand.

“I do understand, and I do know that there is an issue of protocol; there’s an issue of sportsmen women. I am not going to cancel it but we have to get those details before CSSPS comes out,” he said.

He wants heads of second-cycle schools to coordinate such admissions by submitting names of potential protocol admission beneficiaries to the Computerized School Selection and Placement System office before placements can be done.

“On the day the CSSPS comes out, parents will see it, schools will see it. There is not going to be any luck between the day parents get it and schools get it. So know I’m closing the rent-seeking in my office. When we say rent-seeking, it a lovely term for bribe taking,” he said.

He adds: “Rent, seeking in relation to boarders and day: I will caution heads to be careful because I am meeting District Chief Executives today and they would be appointing Free SHS Coordinators. If one person is found out that he or she took money and placed somebody who is not qualified as the border, it’s only he or she that will face Ghana Education Service.”

The Education Minister is in Kumasi to meet with the Conference of Education Directors, Heads of second-cycle schools as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.

The consultative meetings form part of government’s engagement with stakeholders on the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy.

Meanwhile, Dr. Opoku Prempeh says the procedure used to determine student intake in schools will remain.

“As head of school, you have criteria of taken day students and boarding students. That criteria is not going to change.  At least, for the basics, there must be beds because children cannot sleep standing. They have to sleep lying.

“We will still be interacting with you till we finish and we publish the guidelines and we give you all the guidelines,” he said.

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