The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has barred five Senior High Schools (SHSs) from registering candidates for this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for charging unapproved fees.
The affected schools are Olistar Senior High/Technical School, Abesim; Gateway SHS and Lawrence SHS, both in Sunyani; First Class SHS, Achimota, Accra and Martin Luther SHS, Kintampo.
They are said to have “commercialised the registration process,” putting out banners and charging prospective candidates between GH¢1, 200 and GH¢6,750, with the promise of good grades instead of the approved fee of GH¢381.24
At a press briefing in Accra yesterday, the Head of Public Affairs, WAEC Ghana, Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, said the approved fee was for seven or eight subjects, excluding practical or oral tests which ranged between GH¢14.50 and GH¢19.50.
She said the registration log in codes of the affected schools had been suspended, pending further investigation and additional sanctions for the illegal practice.
She said the registration for this year’s WASSCE which opened yesterday would end on April 19, and cautioned schools against registering candidates who were not their bona fide final year students, former WASSCE candidates (remedials) or students who did not have continuous assessment records.
“We have received intelligence reports of some students in public schools who move from their schools to private schools to register for the examination because of assurances of obtaining good grades,” she said.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe said sanctions for such offences included suspension of such schools for not less than one year, and withholding of entire results of non-school/ unqualified candidates.
She announced that Ghanaian candidates, would for the second time, write the WASSCE alone from July 31 to September 26, due to the inability of the country to revert to the old academic calendar which was disrupted by the COVID-19.
As part of measures to ensure test security, the WAEC had enhanced inspection of schools that had applied for accreditation to present candidates, and would take action against regular schools which were operating as remedial schools to demand higher fees and assist in cheating.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe said the rules and regulations for dealing with cases of irregularity in the council’s examinations had been revised to include sanctions on posting live questions on the internet, misconduct of examination officials and refusal to grant timely access into the school premise for inspection.
While urging parents and schools to ensure that the bio-data of their candidates were accurate, she said request for special needs candidates with accompanying medical reports should be submitted by May 2.
For the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), she said, it would be administered from August 7 to 11 and that the registration portal would be opened from March 27 to April 28.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR