One headache the management of the Ghana Education Service has every year is the clamour for admission to a few senior high schools.
According to the GES, out of the 721 senior high, technical and vocational schools that declare vacancies every year, over 51 per cent of the candidates seek admission to less than 100 of those schools.
For instance, this year, out of the 525,000 BECE candidates who qualified for placement in senior high, vocation and technical schools, over 60 per cent of them wanted admission to schools that have been oversubscribed.
The Daily Graphic sees this as a serious lapse, and the irony is that there are equally undersubscribed schools that struggle to get the full complement of their numbers.
In the 2019/2020 academic year, for example, as many as 35,604 candidates applied for the 998 places at the Ghana National College, Cape Coast (Category B school), while Achimota School (Category A school), saw 18,918 candidates applying for its 1,314 places.
This year, the situation is even worse with the abolition of the Double Track system. While last year Achimota absorbed 1,314, this year it can only take 850 out of the 16,617 candidates who wish to gain admission. Prempeh College, for instance, is able take on only 1,000 out of the 10,060 potential candidates.
The seriousness of this year’s placement is the fact that all schools will be running a single track if what the GES announced is anything to go by. That will surely put more pressure on management because of the continuous insistence of parents to go any length to secure admission to those highly subscribed schools.
That is why the Daily Graphic supports and encourages the Ministry of Education to pursue the module school project in each region which is expected to raise the standard of the less endowed schools to that of the endowed ones such as the Achimotas and Wesley Girls.
This surely will lessen the pressure on the traditionally acclaimed oversubscribed schools.
While urging the ministry to pursue the module school project, we believe that it is important the issue of equitable distribution of resources and school materials to all schools is addressed.
The current state of the clamour for few schools while the rest struggle to get the complement of their numbers is unhealthy. It breeds mistrust, perceived favouritism and the collection of bribes to influence the reposting.
It is the expectation of the Daily Graphic that by now the management of the education sector should have done an audit with the aim of putting in place some of the basic things in those undersubscribed schools to catch up with those sought-after schools.
That, we believe, will address 80 per cent of the current annual challenges the GES goes through during the placement exercise.
While calling on the management of education to fix the problem, we believe that parents must help by accepting and allowing their children to go to schools where they have been placed.