Truancy and absenteeism are the main cause of examination malpractice
Sunyani, Feb. 7, GNA - The Right Reverend Kofi Asare Bediako, Methodist Bishop of Sunyani Diocese, has said the future of the country's educational system was in was in jeopardy with the prevailing trend of truancy and absenteeism in many schools
He expressed unhappiness particularly with final year students in Senior High Schools (SHS) who after registering for the West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), indulged in the same truancy by refusing to attend classes
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani, Right Reverend Bediako, said the 'notion that a student who has registered for examination had a contractual agreement with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and must be allowed to write the examination at all costs, irrespective of his failure to attend classes prevented many superintending authorities from taking any action'.
He said the poor academic performance of the less endowed schools in the rural areas was mainly due to absenteeism, especially among the registered students saying 'nobody can pass examination with good grades without attending classes'.
Right Reverend Bediako, who is also a development consultant, said the situation was a contributory factor to examination malpractices as the students hardly prepared for the exam.
He said the situation should be subjected to public debate and discussion because 'if a candidate is registered by a school for an examination, then the school also becomes a partner in that contract and therefore has the right and obligation to ensure that the student prepares well to write and pass well'.
Right Reverend Bediako said if after all the admonishing, motivation and encouragement for class attendance had failed, 'then it should be possible for the names of truant candidates to be removed from the list of affected schools and be placed under a different category'.
He mentioned that some of the absenteeism was also due to embezzlement of school fees by some students, knowing that having had the chance to write the final examination, they could also access their results through the internet.
Meanwhile a source at the Brong-Ahafo Regional Education Directorate corroborated the observation by Right Reverend Bediako as a major challenge in the Region because of many factors required bold decision and drastic measures to overcome them and move education forward.