A total of 531,705 candidates are expected to sit for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) from Monday, September 14, to Friday, September 18, 2020.

The number comprises 269,419 males and 262,286 females from 17,440 schools across the country.

According to WAEC, some 2,007 centres have been designated for the conduct of the examination.

Head of National Office (HNO) of WAEC, Mrs Wendy E. Addy-Lamptey, addressing journalists at a news conference in Accra last Tuesday, signalled the Council’s readiness to conduct the BECE taking into consideration security arrangement and COVID-19 protocols.

“The Council has put in a great deal of work to get the test items and all logistics needed for the examination ready.

All the question papers have been produced under tight security under the surveillance of the Ghana Police Service and WAEC security,” she said.

Of keen concern to the Council, however, are the recurring incidents of malpractices, considering infractions that often characterise its examinations.

One main cause of the menace the WAEC has identified is the influx of rogue websites which do not only circulate fake examination questions on social media platforms but also impersonate the Council by displaying fake timetable and logos.

These sites are also purport to have the means of altering results in favour of candidates.

Such criminals do not only swindle unsuspecting students and their parents of huge sums of monies but also put them in a state of disappointment and anxiety should their ‘apor’ swerve them.

The consequence of this is what allegedly led some candidates who sat for this year’s West African Senior School Certification Examination (WASSCE) to demonstrate gross indiscipline, including verbally assaulting high-profile personalities such as the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, over difficult examination questions, which verbal assault in a video went viral.

Other students also went on rampage, destroying school properties running into several millions of Ghana cedis.

Although WAEC has assured the public of taking steps, including partnering with security agencies to clamp down on such sites and put other measures in place to minimise examination malpractices, it has consistently drummed home the need for students to focus on their books so as not to fall prey to such criminals.

It is in view of this that Mrs Addy-Lamptey again cautioned heads of schools, parents, teachers, students and invigilators to leave BECE students alone to take their examinations.

“Please, leave the children alone to take their examination. If they have applied themselves to learning, they would be able to perform creditably. Let us not introduce them to cheating at such young ages otherwise we risk reaping the fruit of it in our own lifetime,” she said.

The Ghanaian Times adds its voice to this call with recourse to the fact that hard work always yields good results.

With barely three days to the BECE, we entreat candidates to endeavour to burn the midnight candle and be guided by the rules of the examination so as not to fall on the wrong side of the law.

We wish all candidates success in their papers and they should note that they can certainly pass their examination without cheating.

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