A private legal practitioner and member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo believes government has to be blamed for the riotous behaviour exhibited by some final year Senior High School Students sitting for this year’s West African Senior School Certification Examination (WASSCE).
He said government’s poor implementation of the Free Senior High School policy and the impression it gave students that the supply of past questions for free was to enable them to pass their exams caused the widely condemned conduct of some of the students in the past few days.
Speaking on The Big Issue on Saturday, Nii Kpakpo said the free supply of past questions to the candidates was to make up for the failure of the Free SHS policy.
“The attempt to use past questions as a lifeline to rescue a policy that is good in theory but has been poorly implemented, this is the result… We condemn the insult and all that, but we should look at the underlying problem and that problem has to do with the poor implementation of the free SHS policy…These kids are being used as guinea pigs, unfortunately, but we are praying that they muster the courage to be able to write these exams. They should not rely on any past questions,” he said.
Some Senior High School students have been protesting what they call tight security and supervision of the ongoing WASSCE.
While students of the Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School and Juaben Senior High School threatened to boycott their exams because they thought supervisors were 'too strict' during the supervision of their first paper, Bright Senior High School students at Kukurantumi attacked some invigilators.
In some other schools, the students said the examination was too difficult and was not exactly what was in the past questions the government provided.
Some of the students captured of themselves venting their frustration and insulting the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Some of the students have since been sanctioned by the Ghana Education Service (GES).
According to the Nii Kpakpo Samoa, the sanctions are appropriate however the government must take responsibility for the situation.
“Because of the lack of broad consultation, its [Free SHS] implementation has been disastrous and what it has produced is half-baked students who then are given a lifeline of past questions with the belief that these questions are our messiah because we have not adequately completed our syllabus. We lack the necessary preparation and so when we are given these past questions, this is like the lifeline. Let’s just study these past questions and by some magic, we will pass,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku constituency, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye has dismissed the assertion.
According to him, the behaviour of the students is only a reflection of the current Ghanaian society.