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Confusion rocks WAEC’s SSSCE grade conversion to WASSSCE

28 December 2006 | Education

Student leaders at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi are asking for the immediate suspension of the sale of admission forms by the various universities in the country until a unified grading standard has been agreed for holders of all WAEC results.

This follows what the students say are serious problems causing a lot of confusion among applicants with the new West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSSCE) results.

While some universities are not following new aggregate conversions proposed by WAEC, others are not accepting applicants using WASSCE results.

The loopholes were pointed out by the KNUST Chapter of the NUGS whose leaders said their investigations revealed a confused state of affairs in the conversion and application of the new grading system with the old one.

They said for instance, while the Valley View University was not admitting students using the WASSSCE, public universities and the Pentecost University College were not applying the WAEC approved conversion system.

The West African Examinations Council per a circular in November to various universities and bodies that deal with examination results explained that an A1 grade at the WASSCE, which has replaced the Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE), is interpreted as Excellent.

B2 is Very Good; B3 is Good; C4, C5 and C6 are interpreted as Credit; D7 and D8 are interpreted as Pass while F9 is Fail.

The circular said the grading equivalents to the SSSCE are to be: A1 and B2 at the WASSSCE are A at the SSSCE which also means (Excellent); B3 is B (Very Good); C4 is C (Good); C5 and C6 are D (credit); D7 and E8 are E (Passes) and F9 is F (Fail).

But according to the students, the KNUST for instance leaves the burden of conversion of WASSSCE grades to SSSCE equivalent to applicants, while a December 21 circular by the university on the sale of admission forms does not recognise D7 and E8 which WAEC equates to an E in the SSCE.

According to Dennis Agyei Dwomoh, KNUST NUGS President, there were conflicting results as to the rate of conversion, for while the WAEC's rates were different from what the universities were applying, the private universities were applying their own standards.

He said students were in a limbo due to inadequate education on the conversion which had seen some of them equating the WASSSCE with the SSSCE results. Besides, the universities were not recognising the D and E of WASSSCE which meant they were taking them for an F.

He said with admission forms already on sale, students who confused the conversion may unfortunately turn out to have produced fake results.

“So we are asking that there should be further education on this. We are asking that for this year they maintain the A as A and B as B and even if they are going to go ahead they should devise a mechanism to accept the WASSSCE scores and not create any issue of conversion.”

Meanwhile the Ghana Education Service says it is in collaboration with the Ministry of Education putting up a programme to meet all universities to agree on a common interpretation on the new and old grading systems to address any confusion.

Acting Director General of the GES Michael Nsowah told Joy News that the concerns by the students were genuine and they would be addressed.

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