A total number of 37,721 candidates are taking part in this year's Basic Education Certificate Examination in the Eastern Region as against 35,814 in 2007.
Mrs Akosua Takyiwah Adu, Eastern Regional Director of Education, said this when she and Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, the Regional Minister, visited some examination centres on Monday.
Some of the centres they visited were the Roman Catholic Junior High School at Nkurakan in the Yilo Krobo District, the District Assembly Junior High School at Amanfro in the Akuapem North District and Kofi Annor Primary School in the Suhum Kraboa District.
At the District Assembly Junior High School at Amanfro Mr Clement Mantey, supervisor at the centre, told the team that 198 candidates from nine schools were taking part in the examination with one absentee.
He said all the examination materials arrived on time so they were able to start the examination on schedule at 0900 hours.
Mr Affram Asiedu appealed to the students to avoid any examination malpractices that could affect their results.
At the Nkurakan Roman Catholic Junior High School centre, Mr Joshua Ahoni, the supervisor, said 294 candidates from six schools were taking part in the examination with three candidates absent.
At Kofi Annor Primary School centre at Nankese, 255 candidates were taking part in the examination with two candidates absent.
Mr Asiedu Ampong, the centre supervisor, explained that one of the two absentees died a few weeks to the examination after a short illness, and the other candidate had stopped school after he had registered for the examination.