How to select the right Public Senior High Schools for Free SHS

SHS reporting date for 2022 BECE Senior High Schools

Making the right choices during the school selection phase for the 2020 school placement for BECE candidates helps to get them placed in a preferred school and programme of study. 

How to select the right public Senior High Schools for Free SHS in Ghana is becoming complicated and tricky.

Every candidate or graduate of BECE has the dream of being place in his or her first choice school during the computerized school selection placement (CSSPS) but this does not happen all the time.

A lot of dynamics play out in getting a BECE graduate placed and the 2020 school placement will not be that different.

READ: Private schools teachers shocked as reopening is postponed to January 2021

The Basic Education Certificate Examination – BECE 2020 will commence on Monday. 14th September and end on Friday 18th September across the country.

Candidates with the help of the teachers, school authorities, and parents/Guardians are to help choose public Senior High Schools for Free SHS.

The choices they make will determine the school that a child is placed in when the West African Examination Council releases their result as well as the 2020 school placement.

Very often, the wrong choices are made for candidates by parents who use their taste and preferences to choose schools for candidates instead of the student’s academic strength and ability. 

Read: Bring back BECE cut-off point, sponsor failed students to resit not Free SHS

Take the teachers out of the selection as a parent and you are likely to make the wrong choices because teachers can mirror the BECE candidate’s academic strength and the best school and programme for the learner as suggestions. 

Every candidate is unique and has his or her level of academic performance level. Very often, parents want their wards to attend the “Big Schools” when their wards may not be cut out for such schools. These big schools are very competitive and choosing them for a student is like reducing the competitiveness of their results among the very best who make the grades for such school. 

Factor to consider before choosing schools for candidates

Academic performance

The academic performance of a candidate is one of the best measures that tell the school to choose for a BECE candidate during the school selection phase for the final school placement. The new approach where students select schools after the exams further help the candidate to select carefully, knowing his or her likely performance ahead of the school selection.

The choice of schools can be determined by parents discussing the performance of their wards with the teachers. Sincere comments by teachers can tell whether you should consider a particular school.

Let us assume that the schools are categorized in group A,B,C,D and E with the schools perceived to be the best in group A and the less fancied schools in Group E.

If a teacher tells a parent that the child is an above-average student, it can mean, such a candidate will best fit into category B schools and not the well-endowed schools like Presses Boys in say category A 

Another way to tell the academic performance of a child is by looking at his or her terminal academic report. The raw scores and the aggregates of Mathematics, Integrated Science, English, and Social Studies plus any other best two indicates the performance of a candidate.

READ: 2020 WASSCE Failure Rate- Boom for remedial schools, apprenticeship foreseen

For example, if the raw score is between 250 and 300, the best category to start choosing schools in category C. Raw scores are the real scores or marks you obtained in the subjected. Eg. Math -65, this 65 is the raw score while Grade 2 or 3 is the grade for corresponding to the range of scores that give the grade.

Should a candidate choose a school that is very competitive, but he or she does not do well; there is a high chance that he or she may not gain admission to such a school.

Good grades make placement easy for candidates and save parents from stress, but selecting a school in the right category gives a better-combined effect. 

Don’t be deceived by the category the school is in

Most often parents and candidates and sometimes teachers think schools in say category B are not as good as those in category A and so do parents. That perception is wrong. 

The schools in the various categories are not placed in them because the schools are good and produce good academic outcomes but rather they have a certain level of facilities seen as the best or of a certain quality. This also means there are good schools in every category that do not have all the facility. 


Number of Courses – Senior High Schools

The number of courses offered in a Senior High School can increase or decrease the chances of your ward gaining admission. T.I Ahmadiyya SHS in Kumasi offered 6 programs in 2019. This school is likely to admit more candidates than a school that offers just two subjects. The same can be said of schools that have both boarding and day accommodation.

Senior High Schools- Day School instead of Boarding

In 2019, many candidates who chose well-resourced schools and choose a day as the accommodation type gained admission. Hence people with an aggregate 40 managed to be placed in PRESEC Legon. Choosing a highly-rated school or a good school as a day student increases your chance of being placed in the school.

It is, therefore, more likely that any candidate who chooses day schools only will easily get placed than the one who chooses to attend school as a boarding student.

READ: 2020 BECE: Bring back cut off point for Free SHS Admissions

What you must know before you select a school

  1. To select a school from a given category, one must flip through the list of schools to identify a particular school one intends to attend. Move through the columns from left to right to identify the location, the programs, and the type of accommodation available. Accommodation is usually a day, boarding, or hostel.  Check if the school is a mixed-sex school or a single-sex school. Note that, you are to make five choices in all per the 2018 registration procedures which might not change in 2019.
  2. Each time you choose a school, you must choose the programme (code) and the accommodation preference. Candidates are allowed to choose just one school from the well-endowed schools which is usually the category A Senior High Schools, however, are is not compulsory to make a choice from these schools which are competitive.
  3. The next set of schools –Category B are also good schools but are placed here because they do not have all the needed facilities. Candidates must choose not more than 2 schools from these categories.
  4. Candidates may choose as many schools from category C as may be allowed by the system but every candidate must choose at least one school from category D which are day schools in every region.

Make the right 2020 school placement selection for your student ward and help avoid the stress of self-placement. 



Source: Wisdom Hammond | Leadership expert, Educationist and Freelancer

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