Some Ghanaians, have traced the mess this year’s placement of students into Senior High School (SHS) suffered to Ghana Education Service (GES) privileged “Protocol List” and not the joint claim by Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and the Service that the system was hacked.
They are convinced that the Computerized School Selection Placement System (CSSPS) was never hacked by outsiders, but an insider interference that led to the hitches recorded, especially on Monday.
They argued that it is basic knowledge that a system that has been programmed to work in a certain way, will fail if it experiences human interferences in this instance by GES itself.
They questioned, if indeed the CSSPS was made for all, why were there a Protocol Admission system which was different from the system?
To them, it was the privileged system created by the GES and Ministry of Education, which led to people trooping to the Independence Square in Accra to either change the schools they had been placed or change their courses.
The GES on Monday September 12, 2019 announced to parents, students and the general public that the Self-Placement module on the Schools Placement platform, was “up and running”.
It went on to say that “All students who did Self-placement between 9th and 11 September 2019 should go back to the Self-Placement module to select a school”. This was after the students did their own Self-Placement, but were denied their chosen schools.
The statement which apologized to affected students and parents said, it Protocol Admissions was suspended until further notice.
“Management sincerely apologizes for the inconveniences caused to the students’ parents and general public. Management of GES wishes to also state that PROTOCOL AMISSIONS have been suspended for now”, Head of Public Relations Unit, by Cassandra Twum Ampofo, said.
But four clear days after the statement by the GES, parents and student thronged the Independence Square on Monday 16 September, ostensibly to get their posting problems fixed after they followed the instruction, but encountered challenges with the system.
The GES alleged that, amongst other challenges, the System was faced with was that it was hacked.
A Deputy Director General at the GES, Dr. K.B. Tandoh, said some saboteurs both within and outside the country, were responsible for the hack.
Dr. K.B. Tandoh, while speaking on Citi TV’s Point of View show, said the hackers were preventing a smooth process.
“There was some sabotage, in terms of people trying to penetrate the system. People who didn’t want the system to work and so there were cyber issues happening where people were trying to enter the system. From both home and abroad”.
Dr. Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, on his part shocked many Ghanaians when he went berserk on Accra based Asempa FM on Tuesday, to say some unscrupulous people were contracted to cause confusion at the Black Star Square.
The trained dentist accused former President Mahama of contracting people to hack into the system and also hiring 50 percent of the people who stormed the Independence Square. He said some of the parents and students, who got choked and collapsed and carried by ambulance were staged managed.
Describing the incident as unfortunate, Dr. Opoku-Prempeh noted that many of those who stormed the venue, were bused there to cause confusion by the former President.
He said, the aim of Mr Mahama and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) was just to make the Akufo-Addo government unpopular as far as government’s free Senior High School (SHS) policy was concerned.
“Some people are bent on destroying government’s free SHS policy but it won’t work. Unscrupulous selfish persons wanting to drag the name of the government in the mud are behind chaos at Independence [Black Star] Square,” he told Osei Bonsu (O.B), host of Ekosii Sen.
“People are jealous we are giving the poor education. We shall continue to serve the masses,” he added.
The CSSPS introduced in 2005, matches JHS graduates with SHSs they wish to attend based on criteria.
This, however, has been dotted with challenges with allegations of inappropriate placements.
However, ‘NAPO’, as he is affectionately called, said the CSSPS has had about 85 percent success rate this year, hence, it has been well managed.
He wondered why a process such as the CSSPS, has been hit with chaos when it has been smooth since its inception.