Story: News Desk
The Minority in Parliament has warned that the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) will suffer setbacks if arrears owed to the exam council by the government are not paid.
Speaking to the media in parliament, the Minority Spokesperson on Education, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe stated that the West African Examination Council (WAEC) needs about GH₵50 million to clear its debts.
“The challenge for WAEC now is the government’s inability to release funds to them to perform their functions. Those who worked for WAEC last year, 2022, in the conduct of the WASSCE have not been paid the allowances due to the supervisors, the invigilators, the examiners, and all other persons. So, WAEC is unable to raise funds to meet its obligations,” he said.
Mr Nortsu-Kotoe noted that in 2022 the government was only able to pay GH₵50 million out of the GH₵83 million arrears owed WAEC to cater for the 2020/2021 arrears.
“Now the examinations are about to start again or they have even started with the orals and practicals and the WAEC is not having money to pay for last year’s services. If care is not taken, the persons or the teachers who gave us the service may not be ready to provide services again as supervisors and invigilators.”
“This is the challenge WAEC is facing and if we don’t help them to get what is due them, I don’t know how the exams for this year will be conducted. For now, they need about GH₵50 million to clear the previous year’s arrears. Those who print their scripts for them, those who print booklets, they owe all of them. So if you don’t pay, how will they provide those materials for you?”
Mr Nortsu-Kotoe stated that the delay in the payment of arrears was denting the image of WAEC internationally especially since other member countries are able to remit money to them regularly.
“I know of a country, a member country, that by the end of the first quarter, all the budget of WAEC is released to them for national and international examinations. Why can’t we do the same in Ghana?”
Mr Notsu-Kotoe indicated that although the government is hoping to furnish WAEC with GH₵40 million by the end of the week, that will not be enough.