By Maxwell Obiri-Yeboah and Calum Drysdale
The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, says 92 percent of the fresh students who had issues with their placements in the second cycle institutions because of technical issues with the online enrolment system have had their problems resolved.
According to him, fresh students for the 2019-2020 Academic Year are going to begin lessons in their preferred schools to study their preferred courses.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia South Constituency was addressing a team of journalists who were hungry for answers concerning the recent Computer School Selection & Placement Systems (CSSPS) that has been characterised by some mishaps in Accra yesterday.
For almost two weeks now, parents and students who have had sleepless nights, as their wards were having problems with the CSSPS system, have been trooping to the various replacement centres in the country in search of an antidote.
In Accra, the situation led to thousands of aggrieved parents gathering at the Independence Square, which was a temporary correction centre to address all CSSPS matters in the Greater Accra Region.
The Minister alleged that hackers who were trooping in from various locations “with some IP (Internet Protocol) addresses from Ukraine” and other countries, tried to enter their server and cause mayhem on the CSSPS system many times, before the Ministry started publishing the list of students who have had access to Senior High Schools in the country.
According to Mathew Opoku Prempeh, on September 9, this year, the hackers succeeded in making duplicates of the enrolment forms, and that some of parents were using the fake duplicate forms to seek prospectors from some schools.
He said, upon receipt of the information, an order was sent to all schools to halt the placement system whilst the CSSPS site was also closed down to enable his outfit deal with the activities of the hackers. On September 12, the system was restored and the breach corrected.
The Chronicle then enquired if the Ministry did not have such plans of being hit by cyber-attacks when the online platform was created, and how sure are we that Ghanaians are not going to face such issues in the future.
Napo, as he is popularly called, said he knew it and that they were prepared for it, however, as humans, “though you will have the good intentions, some eventualities may happen and they will continue to work on them” as and when they happen.
NAPO continually insisted that the sea of worried faces that converged at the Independence Square, and the collapse of certain students, was staged by saboteurs of the ruling New Patriotic Party to paint their efforts black to Ghanaians, and wrapped up by saying, “people see everything as a game, but education should never be seen as a game.”