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09.05.2007 Education

BECE Candidates Won’t Be Penalised

Candidates of the just-ended Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) who wrote their answers in the question papers for lack of answer sheets will not be punished for that.

Mr Kweku Nyamekye Aidoo, head of the National Examination Administration Department (NEAD) of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), who gave this assurance, said schools of the affected candidates would also not be penalised because it was no fault of theirs that their candidates had to write on the question papers.

He explained that Instead, WAEC officials would copy all the answers from the question papers onto the answer cards to enable the computer to mark each candidate's work.

Mr Aidoo was responding to questions concerning the just-ended BECE during which some centres did not receive their answer sheets, as a result of which the candidates had to write the answers on the question papers.

Mr Aidoo said the Police Depot Centre where candidates had to write their answers in their questions papers was a big centre and, therefore, should have had two different packages of questions and answers. However, "the person in charge picked just one package, instead of the two, which created the unfortunate situation".

Asked whether the candidates would get their question papers back, since they are entitled to them, Mr Aidoo said that was possible, adding, however, that WAEC had to keep them as reference in case the schools concerned were not satisfied with the final scores of their candidates.

With regard to the mix up of centres for candidates to write the exam, he said the Ghana Education Service (GES) was responsible for the allocation of centres to schools. Therefore, schools which normally had problems with their centres had to report directly to the GES to rectify the situation in subsequent examinations.

Mr Aidoo apologised, on behalf of WAEC, for all the petty problems schools and candidates encountered and stated that with the introduction of the batch registration next academic year, such problems would no longer occur.

"Mostly such petty examination problems occur as a result of the poor presentation of data. If the data presented to WAEC are not right, they create problems like inadequate number of question papers or answer booklets," he explained.

In reaction to the mix up of centres, the National Examination Co-ordinator of the GES, Mr Godwin K. Addo, said although the GES was responsible for allocating the centres, it was equally the responsibility of the heads of schools to always cross-check with the service to confirm their centres.

He advised that heads of schools should always visit the centres ahead of exams to ensure that their index numbers were there before the examination commenced.

"Most heads normally take this for granted but it is very important," he pointed out.

Story by Hadiza Nuhhu-Billa