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GES, others slam riotous students … demands punishment for those who vandalised, destroyed school properties

The Director General of the Ghana Education Service(GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa has directed all heads of schools to release names of students who vandalised and destroyed school properties during their protest against school authorities for enforcing social distance protocols during their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) on Monday for the necessary disciplinary actions.

According to him the action of the students in some schools was most unfortunate and could not be countenanced by authorities.

“Those properties destroyed were for government and not for individuals and we will not allow anyone to vandalise them. If you cannot leave on campus to write exams we will let you go home,” he said.

Professor Opoku-Amankwa said this during a stakeholder discussion via zoom on the impact of the students’ action on the education sector monitored by the Ghanaian Times yesterday in Accra.

The stakeholders included President of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Madam Philippa Larsen, Executive Director of African Education Watch, Mr Kofi Asare and Ranking Member of Parliament’s  Committee on Education, Mr Clement Apaak.

Professor Opoku-Amankwa said the students’ expectation that the past questions made available to them should had appeared in the exams were unfortunate, and that GES would not tolerate such behaviour.

He said the final year students’ protest against strict supervision by the invigilators, constituted an act of misconduct and that, such development must be discouraged in our schools.

The President of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Madam Philippa Larsen, who condemned the act, said, the behaviour of the students must not be shielded to serve as deterrent to others.

“Examinations is difficult for everybody, and so if the student did not study hard but stick to the past question they may at the end of the day be disappointed.”

The Executive Director of African Education Watch, Mr Kofi Asare, was also of the view that, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) had been inconsistent and incompetent in the organisation of WASSCE.

He explained that the continuous leakages of WAEC questions had resulted in an act of integrity deficits in examination system in Ghana, thus, contributing to such irresponsible behaviour of students.

“There has not been any leakages of Cambridge examination questions for these same students who sit for WAEC exams.”

The Ranking Member of Parliament of Committee on Education, Mr Clement Apaak, described the behaviour of the students as unfortunate, noting that government procurement of past questions were part of preparations towards the exams.

He said the government cannot be blamed for the failure of these students,  since out of the over 500 senior high schools who received copies of these past questions, only two or three protested for not been able to write the papers.

In a related development, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) Ms Josephine Nkrumah has asked stakeholders in the sector to use the recent disturbances to dispassionately tackle issues of examination malpractices head on.

According to her the development had lingered on over the years and posed a threat to the country’s development.

Some final year students across the country demonstrated after writing the Integrated Science paper on Monday and ended up destroying school furniture, and toppled dining tables.

 Among the schools Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School at Kumawu in the Ashanti Region went viral for recording live video destroying school properties.

The students accused their school authorities of being ‘too strict’ during the supervision of their first paper.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN & ABIGAIL ANNOH

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