In the hustle and bustle that follows the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), a critical juncture in the academic journey of Ghanaian students, there lies a challenge that often goes unnoticed-the cumbersome process of selecting Senior High Schools (SHS). The traditional approach, where students make these decisions post-exams, is riddled with complications that warrant a re-evaluation.
For many students, particularly those in urban areas, the end of the BECE marks a significant turning point. They find themselves in transient living situations. The pressure to leave their temporary living arrangements and join their biological families coupled with the excitement or urgency to embark on travels, leaves little room for a thorough review of school selections.
Compounding the issue is the difficulty faced by headteachers in reaching out to students after the exams. The window of opportunity to collect valuable information about students’ preferences and academic aspirations is narrow, resulting in a hurried and often incomplete school selection process. This rushed approach can lead to misalignments between students’ capabilities and the offerings of chosen schools.
To alleviate the stress associated with the post-BECE school selection, it is prudent to consider a paradigm shift: allowing students to choose their preferred Senior High school before sitting for the BECE. The pros are highlighted below:
Firstly, it empowers students to make well-informed decisions about their future academic paths. With the luxury of time, they can carefully research and select schools that align with their career aspirations and academic strengths. This not only enhances the chances of a successful and fulfilling secondary education but also mitigates the possibility of mismatched placements.
Secondly, a pre-BECE school selection process facilitates a smoother administrative workflow for headteachers. Instead of navigating the challenges of tracking down students’ post-exams, educators can concentrate on providing guidance and support to students in making informed choices. This shift would streamline the overall process, reducing stress for both students and educational administrators.
Moreover, implementing a pre-BECE school selection system could potentially reduce the instances of students missing out on preferred schools due to the limitations of the current post-exam model. This change aligns with the broader goal of fostering an educational environment that nurtures students’ ambitions and sets them on a path to success.
The call for re-evaluating the timing of school selection for Senior High School admission is grounded in the desire to create a more student-centric and efficient process. By allowing students to make informed choices before sitting for the BECE, we can pave the way for a smoother transition to the next phase of their academic journey. This shift not only addresses the logistical challenges associated with post-exam selections but also empowers students to take charge of their education with a well-considered plan for the future.
Written BY: WISDOM KOUDJO KLU, EDUCATIONIST & COLUMNIST – GREATER ACCRA REGION