5 Things You Must Know Before Selecting Your Senior High School

shs school selection

Congratulations, you are probably reading this as you have made it through the basic education cycle and hoping to further your education at the senior high level. You may also be a parent, guardian, or teacher reading this so you can have some tips under your belt.

During this season, one of the most valuable questions after the BECE is which senior high school to choose from the over 1000 public, private and technical senior high schools. Where to continue this next journey of life is a choice that as a BECE graduate together with your parents, guardians, and teachers you will have to make.

So in this article, we present some factors you should be considering while making your school's selection decisions. Sit down and grab a cup of tea or a cool drink while Myshsrank walks you through 5 things you have to know to make this transition into a senior high school. 

Any new decision demands a vigorous understanding of the information available. A well-informed person easily ends up successful in an endeavor - information is always key. 

As Myles Munroe said “If the purpose of a thing is not known the abuse is inevitable” same applies to life. Ignorance is the cause of all problems under the sun.


SHS Course of Preference

One key factor is what course or program do you intend to pursue in senior high school? This is an important question that requires you to first examine your academic strength, what you love to do and what you plan to do in the future. 

This stage is very crucial because during the computerized school placement your performance in relation to the course you want to do in SHS is a key factor. You should seek advice and counseling from your teachers together with your parents or guardian.

At this point, you should have a fair idea of how you will perform in the BECE as the school selection process begins only after the examination. It is a good thing to have a variety of options so you may consider two or more causes you will love to do. Thankfully you have up to five choices of school each with the course you want to pursue, therefore embrace variety, and do not remain rigid with the idea of just one course.

There are those students who love technical courses, which is a really good place to build more practical skills and knowledge. If you are such a student, then consider looking through the various technical and vocational courses available from the various public and private technical and vocational schools.

To get more information on what GES requires you to know read senior high school selection & placement 2021 for BECE candidates

Background of School

Knowing some of the strengths of your dream school is also important. Once you have listed one or two programmes or courses that interest you, consider also which schools mostly do well in such areas. It is quite difficult to tell exactly since there is not much information on how each school performs in each programme.

However, you can always google the name of the school and read a few things about it as some schools are known to be masters in certain program areas. The National Science and Maths Quiz is also another avenue to look out for your dream school.

Your dream school’s background is also important because it tells you whether it is a single-sex school or a mixed school, it also tells you about the facilities and provisions they have for students with special needs.

A school’s background is not limited to just the programmes in which they do well but also consider their history, achievements and what their past students are doing. We cannot have all schools be the same, however, every school has a history they can trace their foundation to, and this mostly shows students the core values, goals, and aspirations of the school.

Getting to know at least this can inform and prepare you for the kind teaching and learning environment ahead of you. Let this provide you with one of the motivations for your decision.

Location & Accommodation of your senior high school

Looking for a new place where you have to spend three years before you obtain your WASSCE certificate, you need to consider the physical location of the school, which includes the region, district, and even locality.

Remember that in recent times, Ghana has added six new regions making a total of 16 regions therefore you must also consider where you would like to spend the next 3 years for your secondary school education. In addition, when selecting a senior high school, you need to consider the districts and municipalities they are located in as well.

You can find more information on each school's detailed location by navigating to your school's page.

There are usually three types of accommodation to expect when selecting your senior high school which are: boarding, day, and hostel. 

There are a good number of senior high schools that run boarding facilities to accommodate students coming from all parts of the country and even within the African subregion. It is also important to note that not all senior high schools have boarding facilities and the option of hostels is very limited because most schools do not have or encourage a hostel system for SHS students.

Due to the current population of students gaining admission into senior high schools, the boarding facilities, as preferred by many students and parents, are not adequate, therefore putting a lot of pressure on parents and students to look for alternative self accommodation within the township where the school is located. This is something most parents do not like as it means their children will be left insecure.

Some schools also recommend private hostels for their students who do not have a place on campus.

It is therefore important to consider whether a school offers boarding facilities or not, and let that also reflect in your selection of schools. This is the reason the GES provides a guideline to ensure that at least one of your school selections is for a school within your residence with an option of being a day student.

Environment and your health considerations

If you have some special needs or health conditions it is important that you and your parents consider your health and the environment where you may be relocated to for your SHS. 

Some schools are located in very mountainous areas, which is a good thing for many, however may also not be very healthy for some other students especially those who may have anemic conditions. Very dusty areas may also not be comfortable for those exposed to asthma conditions. It is also important to also consider any allergies you might have, and even though it may be difficult to determine which allergies might be triggered.  


More importantly

School placement is entirely based on performance and students have to always have this information at the back of their minds. Irrespective of the school or courses you choose, it must meet a good performance in order to be admitted into at least any of your first two choices.

Students who pretend to ignore this factor and just select schools for the sake of selection or because of what his or her friend selected, without recourse to their own strength and weakness may end up being frustrated.

But there is hope for everyone, the Ghana Education Service after the first round of placement allows students who did not get any of their choice of school to do what is known as self-placement, where you will have a list of schools with vacancies and programmes available to choose from. You have to look at your strength and choose schools that are within your performance.

Finally, listen to the advice of your parents and teachers because it is not always the case that courses you wish to do are what you will finally end up doing. Sometimes you rather get to discover yourself better while in senior high school, so consider senior high education as a discovery stage and a stepping stone.


The DOs and DON'Ts of Senior High School Placement

The DOs

  1. Ensure you pay close attention to ALL your school choices
  2. Ensure that the schools are in order of preference from your priority to the least priority
  3. Ensure that your compulsory Day option is within your catchment area where you can conveniently commute.
  4. Ensure that as a parent/guardian you take an active interest in your child/ward’s school choices.
  5. Ensure that you consult your child/ward’s teacher to obtain a realistic prospect of the child’s chances of gaining admission to a particular school.
  6. In the case of Technical Programmes, ensure that you consult the school register to verify that the schools you select offer your desired courses.


  1. Do not outsource school choices to someone without your express involvement.
  2. Do not leave school choices to an internet cafe attendant in the case of self-placement.
  3. Do not assume that you can choose a senior high school as a Day Student and switch to Boarding SHS upon admission.
  4. Do not assume that you can choose a ‘less competitive’ Programme at a school and switch to a ‘more competitive’ one upon admission.
  5. Do not choose schools based on where your friends are going or what courses they want to read.

VIDEO - Guidelines for 2021 School Selection English Version


Contributor: Matey Bless