The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang has advised candidates of this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) to eschew practices that will undermine the credibility of the examination.
She also called for a concerted effort among other stakeholders such as teachers, parents, supervisors and invigilators to ensure an incident-free examination.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said this when she together with management of the Ministry and Ghana Education Service (GES) visited some centres in Accra yesterday.
The centres included West African Senior High School (SHS), accommodating 244 candidates from 11 basic schools and Nkwantanang Cluster of Schools with 199 candidates from three schools as well as Presec Staff School, which was made up of two centres with 440 candidates from nine basic schools.
As at approximately 8:30 a.m., candidates at Presec Staff School were already seated waiting for the first paper, which was English Paper 2, to commence at 9:00 a.m.
Examination materials from the West African Examination Council (WAEC) were delivered on time to facilitate a quick start of the one-hour paper under a serene atmosphere.
In all, a total number of 461,012 candidates, including 239,963 males and 221,050 females, 57 visually impaired candidates, 192,539 French candidates and 441,561 candidates of Information Communication Technology (ICT) drawn from 14,267 schools were expected to sit for the examination.
The examination is being manned by 1,598 supervisors, 1,515 assistant supervisors and 15,695 invigilators.
It will end on Friday with Social Studies paper 1 and 2.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang encouraged the candidates to have confidence and conduct themselves properly in accordance with rules and regulations in order to ensure an incident-free examination this year.
“Indeed, I have the confidence that you have applied yourself diligently to your studies, have used your time judiciously and were ready for this examination,” she stressed.
According to her, it was misplaced for students to collude during examination, rely on leaked questions or engage in malpractices that have the tendency to put their future in jeopardy.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang therefore urged the candidates to view themselves in a more positive light capable of writing the examination without any unethical means saying “I wish you raise your spirits and remain strong while cooperating with your supervisors and invigilators to ensure a serene atmosphere throughout the period of the examinations.
She noted that the ministry and the West African Examination Council (WAEC) have put in place more stringent measures to avert any occurrence in the form of examination malpractices.
The Minister also advised invigilators and supervisors not to keep their mobile phones on them while invigilating the examination as some past reports had revealed invigilators colluding with teachers to cheat.
She again asked teachers to vacate the examination centres after bringing their students.
The Deputy Director-General of GES in charge of Management Services, Mrs. Cynthia Bosumtwi-Sam underscored the essence of adhering to rules and regulations set for this year’s examination.
She said the service together with its stakeholders have come out with some stringent measures to protect the integrity of the examination hence such measures should be complied by all and sundry.
“We have had cases of malpractices over the years therefore we seek to check this practice and permanently stamp them out with these measures,” he said.
The examination started at exactly 9:05 am at the Kaneshie Presbyterian School centre where 383 candidates from five schools sat for the BECE, reports Abigail Annor .
The centre supervisor, Mr. Daniel Arhinful said examination materials were brought to the centre by 8:30 am and was hopeful the examinations would be successful.
At the Kaneshie Kingsway 1 centre, the Times observed that some invigilators who supposedly had letters from education units to invigilate at the centre were turned away since their names could not be found in the list of invigilators posted to the centre.
Mr. Fredrick Adusei, the centre supervisor disclosed that a student identified with a special need (slowness) would be allowed an extra time to complete the examinations.
As at 10:15am when the Times visited the Rev. Thomas Clegg Memorial centre, candidates were busily writing the English paper 2 examinations in a quiet and serene environment.
One candidate however could not turn up for the examination because he dropped out of school at the eleventh hour, centre supervisor, Mr. Eugene Laryea disclosed.
Lawrence Korley, the supervisor for Centre A at the Accra Academy SHS in an interview with The Ghanaian Times disclosed that there were 10 schools under his care and had a total student population of 309, reports Alimatu Quaye and Helena Ama Cromwell.
Some of the schools included, Witty Academy, Bubiashie Bethel Presby, and Redeemer School.
By Charles Amankwa