The first-ever harmonised prospectus for senior high and technical schools in the country has been introduced by the Ghana Education Service (GES). The innovation, code-named: ‘National Prospectus’, is designed for all prospective first-year students to eliminate any ambiguity regarding the requirements of fresh students.
Under the new arrangement, all schools are expected to adhere to the national prospectus without imposing any extra items apart from what has been officially prescribed, while parents will no longer have to wait until the rollout of the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) before shopping for their children. The national prospectus is categorised into basic needs and cleaning materials to make it easier for parents.
Category ‘A’ covers basic items such as hard body suitcase or trunk, chop box or hard plastic container, toiletries, beddings, a pair of footwear (school-specific), underwear, cutlery, and other educational materials such as mathematical set and scientific calculator, among others. The second category includes detergents, sanitary and cleaning materials such as liquid soap, hand gloves, washing powder, bleach and cleaning materials such as brooms, standing mob, mob buckets, and a scrubbing brush.
Briefing the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview, the Director-General of the GES, Dr Eric Nkansah, explained that the move was to help parents buy the items way before the release of the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS). He said once parents knew the items their children would require, they could start buying them now while waiting for the placement and added, “for me, that is the joy”. The harmonised prospectus, Dr Nkansah said, was necessary to eliminate items that schools could do without and also ensure that schools did not include such items and use same as a barrier to the timely enrolment of students.
The Director-General also advised schools not to admit students based on their ability to procure all the items, but urged parents to try and procure the items as outlined in the prospectus, “because we have reduced the list to the barest minimum.” He said the cost of the items in the prospectus was within the reach of all parents and was convinced that the situation where parents spent a fortune on a prospectus belonged to the past.
Dr Nkansah observed that over the years, parents had to wait until they secured the placement first before they went to the school to pick the prospectus to buy the items. He observed that previously, some schools were rigid with prospectus, insisting that until the last item was bought, the student would not be admitted. He, therefore, appealed to heads of senior high schools to be considerate in that regard.
Dr Nkansah stressed that the national prospectus was put together by a committee made up of representatives from the GES, Free SHS Secretariat, and TVET Service, with the Conference of Heads of Government Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) also making an input. He said the GES acknowledged the role of CHASS in the operation of second-cycle schools, “and that is why their input in the national prospectus is so crucial”. He advised the students to ensure that all personal items were embossed or embroidered with their names to avoid getting their items stolen.
By: Severious Kale-Dery