FOR seven consecutive times, Ghana has swept the topmost excellence awards, instituted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to honour best performing candidates in the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Since 2008, the Overall Best Candidate award, presented annually by the council for the WASSCE, has been won by academic gems from senior secondary schools in Ghana.
Jessica Ayeley Quaye, Ruth Ewura-Ama Awadzi and Danielle Amo-Mensah, all students from Wesley Girls High School, in Cape Coast, were adjudged the best candidates in the 2015 WASSCE, making them the fifth successive batch of candidates presented by the country to have swept all the distinguished awards over the past five years.
Ms Quaye is currently a Level 100 student of the Ashesi University College, studying Electrical Engineering with a full scholarship package covering tuition, feeding and accommodation, as well as a laptop from Universal Merchant Bank (UMB).
She and her colleague awardees were presented with a certificate and an undisclosed amount of money at a ceremony in Accra yesterday.
President John Dramani Mahama, who presented the award, commended the students for making the country proud, saying “we want to gladly associate ourselves with your success and urge you to even do greater exploits in your future endeavours”.
According to him, the success of the candidates was “a clear sign that hard work pays”, explaining that students could attain higher heights in the academia when they showed much commitment and dedication.
He assured of government’s support for the WAEC in its operations, by creating the enabling environment for examinations to be taken in a more credible and serene atmosphere.
President Mahama, however, urged the council to institute stringent measures to curb examination malpractices in the sub-region, saying that was necessary to ensure the sustenance of examination credibility and put much weight in the worth of results it released.
The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, commended the efforts of stakeholders who had contributed, in diverse ways, to maintain Ghana as the topmost recipient of the excellence awards.
She expressed the hope that the efforts of parents, teachers, guardians, school authorities and heads of the beneficiary schools would be replicated in other parts of the country.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo commended WAEC for its swift response and for the manner in which it dealt with cases of examination malpractices that led to the cancellation of five papers in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) last year.
He described the cancellation as a step in the right direction, but urged the council to intensify security and supervision of candidates at its examinations.
By Charles Amankwa