Are students Forced to Study Non-Preferred Programmes at the SHS?

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Are students forced to study non-preferred programmes at the SHS?

Are students forced to study non-preferred programmes at the senior high school (SHS) level in Ghana? Do you know that a student who is forced to study a programme he/she despises most often does not attach any seriousness to the studies?

Many people have been affected by the aforementioned issue, especially with the establishment of the Free SHS programme. There is no doubt that the FCUBE and Free SHS initiatives are among the best educational measures ever implemented. However, a small observation made by suggests that students who seek to switch their programme of study after being admitted find it difficult, if not impossible, to do so.

The arguments offered by the administration or management of these high schools are not always valid in terms of the learner’s future. Some of the explanations given by the management of the various high schools include; The CSSPS system has already gathered the student’s details and particulars; many students will plan to change their programmes after that is completed, leaving certain classes empty or with a low population; and many more.

Whatever the reason, nothing should prevent a student from enrolling in the high school programme of his or her choice.


A student in the Junior High School (JHS) is not given any information about what the various SHS programs/courses entail.

A JHS student who excels in integrated science believes he or she can succeed in the SHS General Science programme. Meanwhile, in addition to integrated science as a core subject, students will study physics, chemistry, biology, and elective mathematics.

Furthermore, some students are assigned to programmes that they do not choose. This can happen as a result of a system error or technological difficulties.

Should a new JHS student who has no knowledge of the aforementioned realizes that he or she cannot cope and decides to change to a preferred subject be denied?

Should incidents like this deter a student from pursuing his or her dream in the future?


The Free SHS Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES), the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Computerized School Selection Placement (CSSPS), and other relevant stakeholders, should develop an internal (in the school) or external (outside the school) intervention to allow students who have been placed in various high schools to change their course of study if they so desire.

However, there should be a system in place, such as a deadline for switching from one programme to the other following admission to the institution.

Are students Forced to Study Non-Preferred Programmes at the SHS?