*571,894 registered candidates expected to write exams

Story: Paloma KENYENSO

Ghana Education Service (GES) will today, Monday, November 15, 2021  commence  this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE).

The examinations, which will end on Friday, November 19, will be held at 2,158 centres, with a total of 571,894 candidates across the country.

In a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer for the Service, Cassandra Twum Ampofo, she urged the candidates to eschew all forms of examination malpractices during the period.

“Candidates, invigilators, supervisors, school authorities, teachers and parents are advised to desist from any form of examination malpractice.”

“GES, WAEC and the security services are working jointly to ensure the smooth conduct of the examinations at all the centres across the country,” she added.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, invigilators and supervisors have been directed to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols at all the centres.

Meanwhile, “parents, candidates and the general public are informed that the school selection process will commence after the BECE.”

Details of the selection process, the GES said , will be communicated in due time.

Unlike previous years, where the national exercise was held in May/June, the 2020 and 2021 editions had to be postponed due to disruption of the previous academic calendar by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile officials of the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB)  who monitored the production process – printing, sorting, and packaging of the papers have assured the general public that there will  not be leakages this year.

 Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, Head of Public Affairs, WAEC National Office, told the media  in an interview that, the Council had also increased the number of depots storing confidential materials under strict surveillance.

 She said the enhanced security would ensure that the papers did not leak before and during the examinations and cautioned the public to be wary of people who would be selling fake examination papers.

She said all COVID-19 safety protocols would be observed during the examination, which would start from Monday, November 15, and end on Friday, November 19.

She said all candidates would be given hand sanitisers and that, “should a candidate fall sick and a medical report is available, a committee will look into the situation and take a decision.”

But , Mr Kofi Asare, Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, said there were no enough assurances from WAEC that this year’s BECE would be leakage-free.

He said per historical antecedents in WAEC related examinations, he could only hope that the examining body would put its house in order to prevent the “scare of what took place in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).”

 “…on the side of WAEC, we don’t have the assurance that there won’t be any leakages but we can only hope that WAEC puts its house in order and prevent a repetition of what happened during this year’s WASSCE.”

Mr Peter Korda, Head of Public Relations, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), said they expected the BECE results to be better this year despite long COVID-19 break.

He said teachers did their best to catch up with the curriculum after the 10-month break last year. “COVID-19 pushed teachers to go the extra mile to adequately prepare students for the examinations through extra classes and online teaching and assignments,” he said, and advised the candidates to adhere to rules and instructions of the exams.

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