The Ghana Education Service (GES) has kicked against suggestions for this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) or Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) to be held online.
Speaking on Face to Face on Citi TV, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, the Director-General of the GES opined that Ghana is not ready for a virtual examination
“For now, I think it has to be written on paper because those who are organizing our examinations for us [WAEC] have not set themselves up to have examinations online. We can't just wake up and do it, we have to ensure that they have the expertise to hold the exams online. A lot of us are holding devices and can play around with them but when it comes to educational technology and the use of technology in education a lot of us find ourselves wanting even at the university level.”
He however said such options could be considered in the future.
“What we could do as we go forward is to start working consistently and planning towards the possibility of having such exams online. There are so many challenges because the children have not even been trained on the use of such technologies and there is also the issue of supervision; how are we going to supervise a virtual examination? It can't work now but we should have it in mind so that we can have something like that in the future. It is a good idea but we are not ready for it now,” Prof. Opoku-Amankwa noted.
COVID-19 vs exams
The COVID-19 outbreak has forced some countries, including Nigeria, to call off the 2020 WASSCE, but the government of Ghana has insisted on holding it.
The Ghana Government subsequently reopened schools to enable students to prepare for the exit examination.
With the rising calls on the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to shut down Senior High Schools that have reported cases of COVID-19, some stakeholders have called for the exit examinations to be held online.
July 20, 2020, has been set for project work of Visual Arts candidates and practicals for Science candidates, while the written examination will start from August 3 to September 5, 2020.