A group calling itself Friends of the Free SHS has challenged the Economics and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to investigate alleged bribery cases that have characterised the Computer School Selection Placement exercise (CSSPS).
According to the group, BNI and EOCO cannot ignore the numerous concerns that have been raised by parents and other educational stakeholders if the system is to improve.
Some parents claim their wards are being rejected from schools they have been placed into due to lack of space, while others are being asked to make huge payments before their wards get into boarding houses.
A statement released and signed by convener of the group, Kojo Ransford, said: "Our checks have revealed that, some workers at the office of the Computer School Selection Placement System are demanding money from parents to change schools for their wards and they charge between Ghc 2,000 to Ghc 3,000. It is also alleged that some unscrupulous hands are manipulating the internet space to get the system jammed in order to get parents frustrated, thereby compelling them (parents) to use fraudulent means to get their wards admitted.
"The Government of Ghana under the leadership of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is making true his promise of introducing free senior high school this year and our group is solidly behind the government to make it a reality. Friends of the Free Senior High School, is by this statement, urging investigative bodies such as the Bureau of National Investigative (BNI), the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to quickly move to the office of the Computer School Selection Placement System to investigate those allegations and punish those found culpable."
The statement added: "We cannot let the Free SHS programme fail, and it is important that the security agencies move in quickly to halt the on-going alleged criminality and abuse of office. We also urge the National Communication Authority to expedite action in making sure that there is enough internet space to enable students have quick access their schools.
"We are also appealing to members of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Senior High Schools (CHASS) not to use their allocated protocol to extort money from parents."