Abolish protocol system in computerised sch. selection process – Ablakwa to Government
The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has suggested that government scraps the protocol system in the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) which is responsible for placing JHS graduates in Senior High Schools.
The call from the former Deputy Minister for Education follows an investigative documentary by The Fourth Estate dubbed “School placement for Sale”, which chronicled how some individuals sold the school placement slot to some category ‘A’ schools for as much as GHC20,000.
The investigations revealed that a syndicate took advantage of the protocol system and sold placement slots in Senior School Schools during the 2022 Computerised School Selection and Placement exercise.
Reacting to the scandal that has resulted in the arrest of some 8 persons, Mr. Ablakwa said, the only sure way to deal with the problem is to abolish the protocol system, adding that placement into Senior High Schools should be merit-based.
“There is absolutely no reason that this should happen. When we [NDC] were at the Ministry, we announced no protocol and Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman was very passionate about it.
“When you create protocol systems that is where it leads to. We must abolish protocol and let everything be based on merit. Remove the window for the human interface. We say we are doing a computerised system, so let it be computerised,” he said in an interview with Joy News.
But explaining the need for such a system on Monday, the Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum said for the past years, there has been a special protocol in the school selection placement system for key stakeholders like chiefs, churches and old students who contribute to the development of the various secondary schools and in some cases, founders of the schools.
He stressed, however, that the Ministry will not accept anything that would undermine the protocol aspect of the school placement system.
“The Church- Presbyterian Church, how do I tell the Moderator that the school that you founded and continue to fund and provide resources, and you want five or 10 students to go there I won’t allow you?” the minister quizzed.
“So it is a system that we came to inherit. Unfortunately, people are using dubious means to get access to something that has been set aside for these key supporters of education in the country, it has to be stopped and that is why I embrace the documentary,” he noted.
Adutwum also went on to assure that measures have been put in place to prevent fraud in the school placement system as his office has warned parents and guardians against aiding the fraudsters.