Registration of candidates for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) will be done on compact discs (CDs), instead of scannable forms, with effect from September this year.
This follows the phasing out of the use of scannable forms by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for the registration.
The Head of the National Examination Administration Department (NEAD) of WAEC, Mr Kweku Nyamekye Aidoo, who announced this, said the initiative, dubbed, “Batch Registration”, would ensure that candidates were registered in batches on CDs and not on individual forms.
He was speaking at a three-day training of trainers workshop for regional co-ordinators of the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) at Ajumako in the Central Region.
Mr Aidoo said there was the need to make use of technology in the registration of candidates, since it was easier to handle, adding that “the candidature is bloating year in year out”.
“For those writing this year, the candidature is 319,000, and by 2008 it may go up to 350,000 or more. The paper work involved is so huge and we are limited by space.
“If this batch registration is done, then each school will use just one CD and so in all we will just use about 9,000 CDs for the whole country,” he said.
Mr Aidoo said under the new registration system, school authorities would be responsible for the registration and not the candidates, saying that with the initial exercise, there would be some challenges regarding access to computers for the registration to be compiled on CDs.
“Basic schools which do not have facilities such as computers should approach the nearest secondary schools, since the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) registration was also done on CD. If a school does not have a computer, that does not stop it from registering its candidates, since it can benefit from schools which have computers,” he said.
He called on parents and guardians to ensure that the bio-data, such as the names and dates of birth of their children and wards, were accurate, since they were very important to employers.
The Co-ordinator of the CSSPS, Mr Andrew Akuoko, announced that new measures had been introduced for the placement of qualified BECE candidates in secondary schools and technical institutes.
The measures, he said, were to ensure that candidates were placed smoothly, without problems.
According to him, the measures included the placement of candidates only once, as against being placed in phases, as was done in the past, and the abolition of the practice where heads of secondary schools were asked to submit lists of qualified students from their communities to the CSSPS Secretariat for placement.
Mr Akuoko said as a result of competition and the lack of vacancies, candidates who could not get their choice of schools would be placed in schools in their communities under a mapping system which had been introduced.
He advised candidates to report to the schools they themselves had chosen and where they had been placed, since a change of school would not be entertained.
He said some of the challenges confronting the secretariat were the weak monitoring and enforcement structures of the Ghana Education Service (GES), errors resulting from the wrong shading of schools and programmes and the running of unapproved programmes by some schools.