We were denied CSSPS data to check public basic schools placement quota – Eduwatch
Executive Director of Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), Kofi Asare, says the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education had denied an RTI request from his outfit to access data on school placements from the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).
According to him, following some petitions from concerned stakeholders including parents and schools heads about issues emerging from the CSSPS, Eduwatch had initiated the RTI request to assess the effectiveness and equity of same.
“We have also been concerned at Eduwatch about the proper functioning of the CSSPS because we appreciate why the system was birthed, and so when we received concerns from parents and school authorities and all that including government agencies about issues emerging from the angle of effectiveness and equity, then we were concerned,” he said.
The purpose of the request he said was to ascertain whether government was indeed living up to its promise of allocating 30% of school placements in Category A schools to students from public basic schools.
The government had initiated the quota allocation system to provide equity in Ghana’s education system; however, concerns have been raised about its effectiveness.
“So we actually requested from the CSSPS, we made an RTI request to the Director General of the GES requesting for the placement data to enable us undertake an analysis. Our concern was actually the 30% allocation for public basic students.
“We wanted to be sure the extent to which we have been given public basic school students their 30% in the category A schools. It was an equity analysis. It was denied. We petitioned the Ministry, it was denied. As I speak, we are still engaging the RTI on the next step after this was denied. We won’t play around this time,” he said.
According to Kofi Asare, access to such data would help Eduwatch “to conduct research and advise government on how best to improve its own policy’s effectiveness through transparency.”
Meanwhile, in the latest JoyNews-Fourth Estate documentary, ‘School Placement for Sale’, it has been discovered that some persons have been collecting bribes from parents who want their children to be placed in Category A schools.
So far, eight persons exposed in the documentary have been arrested by the police.
According to editor-in-chief at Fourth Estate, Manasseh Azure, the suspects have been charged and arraigned.
He, however, stated that two others are at large. -www.myjoyonline.com