2021 School Placement Algorithm For Sierra Leone NPSE And BECE Candidates

The School placement process for candidate taking National transition Examination examinations i.e., the National Primary School Examination (NPSE) and the basic Certificate Examination (BECE) has been tedious, Manual and prone to human error and corruption for almost two decades.

As such, in 2020 the ministry of Basic and senior school Education (MBSSE) in consultation with parents and students, the national council of Head Teachers union (NaCoHT) conference of principals of Secondary School (CPSS) and the sierra Leone Teacher union (SLTU) agreed to improve the student placement process by giving candidates options to choose up to three schools to continue their Education.

This decision was followed up with detailed discussion and other community engagement activities to raise the awareness of school leaders and parents. Using data from schools, MBSSE has hence developed an algorithm to facilitate the placement of all successful candidates, who sat for Government or Government-assisted school, in an efficient and corrupt-free way, what follows is a brief explanation of that process.


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Successful placement into a school in primarily based on the choice of the candidate and their performance in the transition Examinations. The algorithm also takes into accounts the number available space in each Government and Government-assisted school, these data are provided by each school after taking into consideration the number of repeaters in JSS1 and SSS1, the school management decision to change to single-shift and the number of available furniture among other reasons.

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For each successful candidate (i.e., those who passed the transition exam) are considered for placement in order to choice-first, followed by second and then third choice. All first choice candidates are placed before second-choice candidate for a school can be placed ahead of a first-choice candidate who also meet the cut of school of that school, Even if the that second choice candidate has a higher examination score, This follows our principle of equity of access. All children must have equal opportunity to access further education in their prioritized school choice.

For each, placement is made in descending order i.e., a higher scoring candidate is placed before the immediately following lower scoring candidate and so on.

A candidate that cannot be accommodated in his or her three choices because of demand is automatically placed into a Secondary school with and available seat nearest to the school of entry of that candidate. Each school of entry and secondary school across the country is put into a Zone by proximity.

In summary, places in a school are filled in the order- first choice candidate, followed by second choice candidate, then third choice candidate are finally any unplaced candidate that pass the exam but did not get into any of their choices.

It is important to note that private schools where not included in the placement process this year only candidate choosing to attend Government and Government-assisted school where placed.

For further information, please contact the basic Education Secretariat at the Ministry of Basic and senior secondary Education.

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