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11.04.2008 Education

55 students fate in the balance

By The Times
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Final-year students of Dzokson Business College, a private commercial senior high school at Accra New Town, will not be able to write this year's West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), slated for June because the school's principal failed to register them for the examination.

The 55 students, (19 boys and 36 girls), each paid GHc90, totalling GHc4,950. as registration fee for the examination but W.A. Dzokoto, the principal failed to register them.

Yesterday, at about 1.30 p.m. when the Times visited the school, located, behind the Kpehe Roman Catholic Basic School upon a tip-off, there was a crisis meeting underway between the school authorities, the affected students and some of their parents.

The Times learnt that the students paid their registration fee in October/November last year, but the principal informed them about his inability to process the registration only last week.

When the students confronted the principal over his failure to register them, the school authorities allegedly suspended them from attending classes.

The students then reported the matter to the Kotobabi police who have since commenced investigations. There are unconfirmed reports that the Police Headquarters is moving to take over the case for further investigations due to its seriousness.

At the meeting, the parents present demanded an explanation for not registering their wards but all Mr Dzokoto could say was that "I am registering them for the upcomingNovember•2008 examination."

The parents rejected the principal's suggestion and demanded refunds but when Mr Dzokoto claimed that he held a similar meeting with a section of the parents last Wednesday, who supported his idea, they agreed that he registers the students for the November 2008 examination.

Later, in an interview, Mr Dzokoto admitted that he failed to register the candidates and also confirmed that the Kotobabi police are investigating the matter.

He claimed that when he applied to have the school registered as an examination centre, the GES inspectors delayed the report and that accounted for his inability to get the students registered for the June examination.

Asked if it was the first time that the school, which started in 2001 was writing WASSCE, the principal said he registered the final year students last year and they wrote the examinations at various centres in Accra.

"We found it difficult to register this year so I sent a petition on October 24, last year to the GES Director in charge of Secondary Education and sent copies to the Regional Director of the GES to assist us register the candidates but to no avail2”.

Some of the parents the Times interviewed said they got to know about the matter only this week saying "we have already invested in our children and we cannot afford additional cost to get them registered for November."

A source at the Kotobabi Police Station confirmed that the students have lodged a complaint and they are investigating the matter.

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