424,092 Students to enjoy free SHS

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– Will it end the misery of over 100,000 students who are placed each year but fail to report?

It has now been established that 424,092 students have qualified to be placed in the various Senior High Schools (SHS) as well as Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools under the Ghana Education Service (GES) across the country.

They constitute the first batch of students to enjoy the Free SHS policy introduced by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government as one of its flagship policies.
Under the programme, first year students who qualified to senior high schools will not be charged admission, library, science centre, computer laboratory, examination, and utilities fees, among others.
267,327 Placed in SHS/TVET
A total of 267,327 students have already been placed in various SHSs and TVET under the Computerised School Selection Placement Systems (CSSPS) as they secured places in their schools of choice.
150,770 to select new schools for placement
According to GES, the remaining 150,770 candidates could not be placed in a school of their choice, and have, therefore, been given a second chance of choosing schools for them to be placed.
Candidates now have up to tomorrow, September 5, 2017 to complete the placement.
The extended date will make room for the candidates to conclude the process.
GES has given the assurance that all students who did not record grade 9 (fail) in English and Mathematics would be placed, and automatically benefit from Free SHS.
36,849 not placed because they failed Maths and English
A total of 36,849 Junior High School (JHS) students who sat this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) will not make it to SHS/TVET.
The GES explained that the students, who represent 8 per cent of the total number of students who took the exam, scored Grade 9 (fail) in either English Language or Mathematics.
BECE re-sit 
All is not lost because such determined students can re-sit the BECE exam for private candidates to improve their grades in English and Maths, and when successful enrol into SHS next academic year.
Numbers not placed between 2013 and 2016
The number of JHS students not placed in SHS/TVET under GES in previous years is: 2013 – 38, 830; 2014 – 36,534; 2015 – 25,457; and 2016 – 40, 874.
141,695 BECE students not placed in SHS in 4 years
It means that a total of 141,695 BECE students failed to progress to secondary education on first attempt in the past four years because they obtained 9 (fail) in Maths and English.
Data compiled by GES and seen by The Finder revealed that between 2013 and 2016, an average of 27.32% of successful candidates of southern extraction placed in SHS/TVET who do not enjoy scholarships failed to enrol.
It is believed that this failure to enrol is primarily due to financial challenges, a nationwide problem free secondary education is expected to resolve.
430,563 failed to enrol in SHS, TVET in 4 years
In the four-year period, 430,563 successful students placed in SHS/TVET under GES failed to enrol.
2013: 90,604 failed to enrol
In the year 2013, out of 352,202 students placed, 261,598 enrolled while 90,604 failed to enrol.
2014: 113,260 failed to enrol
Similarly, in 2014, a total of 386,412 students were placed but 113, 260 failed to enrol, which means 273,152 enrolled.
2015: 115,363 failed to enrol
For 2015, out of the 415,012 students placed, 299,649 enrolled, leaving 115,363 who did not enrol.
2016: 111,336 failed to enrol
Last year, 420,135 students were placed. However, 308,799 grabbed the opportunity while 111,336 failed to enrol.
Under free education for students of northern extraction, an average of 11.48% of candidates placed by CSSPS into SHS/TVET do not enrol.
2013: 16,435 failed to enrol
In 2013, out of 98,046 students of northern extraction placed, 81,611 enrolled while 16,435 failed to enrol.
2014: 9,641 failed to enrol
For 2014, a total of 115,379 students of northern extraction were placed. 
However, 105,738 enrolled but 9,641 failed to enrol.
2015: 13,925 failed to enrol
Out of 136,295 students of northern extraction placed in 2015, 122,370 enrolled while 13,925 did not enrol.
2016: 15,332 failed to enrol
In 2016, 146,205 students of northern extraction were placed but 15,332 failed to enrol while 130,873 enrolled.
1.7m students registered for BECE in four years
The GES data indicates that 1,715,456 students registered for the BECE between 2013 and 2016.
572,258 did not make it to SHS/TVET in four years
If one adds 141,695 BECE candidates who were not placed in fours to 430,563 BECE candidates who failed to enrol, it means 572,258 BECE students did not make it to SHS/TVET in the past four years.
This is over a third of the candidates who registered for the BECE in the four-year period.
It is believed that some of these candidates took to apprenticeship to learn various vocations.

By Elvis DARKO, Accra

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

[email protected]

A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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