The Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference has condemned the rioting and wanton destruction of state properties taking place on the campuses of some Senior High Schools (SHS) across the country in the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
“We condemn in no uncertain terms this show of disrespect for authority, even going to the extent of insulting the President of the nation; the attacks on some heads of institutions, teachers, staff of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and journalists, resulting in varied degrees of injuries suffered by the victims. These unfortunate incidents are very disheartening, to say the least”, the Catholic Bishops' Conference said in a statement.
There have been a number of reports about student-agitation over what some describe as tight security and supervision of the exercise.
Some students of the Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School and Juaben Senior High School threatened to boycott the exams saying their school authorities were being 'too strict' during the supervision of their first paper.
Students at the Bright Senior High School at Kukurantumi also on Thursday, August 2020, attacked some invigilators after allegedly being spurred on by their proprietor.
The Catholic Bishop Conference has, therefore, called on all the major stakeholders in education and the law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators of these acts to book in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Ghana Education Service as well as the laws of the land to serve as a deterrent to others.
“We equally call on all final year students writing the ongoing WASSCE to remain calm and to concentrate on their studies instead of looking for leaked examination questions to enable them to pass their exams. We would like to remind our dear students that there is no shortcut to success but only through hard work and discipline. We also urge them to desist from all forms of lawlessness and disregard for authority”, Catholic Bishops added.
Since the beginning of these developments, several groups including the Ghana Education Service said it would adopt a zero-tolerance approach to the recent disturbances in schools.
It was appalled by the videos showing “crass indiscipline” from students, including the instances of students insulting against the President.
To this effect,14 students have so far been dismissed following recent acts of indiscipline and vandalism recorded during the conduct of the WASSCE.
These students have also been barred from writing their remaining papers in the ongoing examination organised by the West Africa Examination Council.
Management of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in a statement said these sanctions have been taken to “serve as a deterrent and to ensure that life and property are protected in schools.”
Additionally, three teachers have also been interdicted and barred from invigilating pending conclusion of the probe to ascertain their culpability for their roles in the alleged activities as “they are further being referred to the security agencies for further investigation.