It is sad to hear every year that final-year students writing the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) have vandalised school property and even brutalised teachers and others.
Last year, for instance, six senior high schools (SHSs) were in the news for such negative acts. They were Bright SHS at Kukurantumi in the Eastern Region; NdewuraJakpa SHS inDamongo in the West Gonja Municipal of the Savannah Region; TweneboahKodua SHS at Kumawuin the Ashanti Region; Juaben SHS atJuaben in the EjisuJuaben Municipality, also in the Ashanti Region; Sekondi College in Sekondi in the Western Region; and Battor SHS in the Volta Region.
The rampaging students undertake their destructive acts usually after a subject which they found difficult to write or because of strict invigilation. In some cases, the students delay their actions till after the final paper.
Therefore, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has cautioned final-year writing the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to desist from unruly acts that have the potential to tarnish the image of their schools and run them into trouble.
The GES says it has picked up signals from some schools which indicate that some of the students writing their final examination have started vandalising school property.
What is worrying is where the students misdirect their anger at innocent people and those they perceive to be the cause of their failure to write a particular subject.
Last year Bright SHS students brutalized invigilators and even reporters on August 6 for strict supervision.
The GES indicates that there is intended harassment of juniors in forms one and two for which some of the first-year students have left for fear of being harassed by their seniors after their final paper on Friday, October 8.
A media report published online on September, weeks before the GES caution, indicated that some aggrieved final-year students of Osei Tutu Senior High School in the Ashanti Region had cut down all plantain trees on a farm belonging to their Assistant Headmaster in-charge of Administration, Mr. Francis Adu, leaving behind a note threatening that they would “amputate” him next time.
Mr. Adu’s offence was that over the years, he had been too strict in supervising WASSCE papers, an attitude he repeated on September 13 during the writing of the Science paper.
The Ghanaian Times thinks it is about time the strictest of action is taken against SHS students who destroy school property due to examination-related issues and even other reasons.
After all, most of these students are 18 and above and so can be prosecuted in the courts to serve as a deterrent to others.
Destruction of school is anti-development and must be prevented anyway anyhow.
Besides, negative issues related to WASSCE undermines the integrity of Ghanaian certificates, which can in turn affect the chances of the Ghanaian youth earning scholarships abroad.
This paper appeals to teachers and other stakeholders to also ensure quality teaching and learning because once students have been taught the full syllabus, they would have no reason to want to cheat in examinations.