No candidate has been absent in the ongoing West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), in spite of the current conflict there, authorities of the Bawku Senior High School have disclosed.
The headmaster of the school, Mr Paul Apanga, told the Daily Graphic in Bawku that all the 481 candidates, 121 of whom are girls, who were registered for the May/June WASSCE reported to write their respective papers.
“For all the papers, not a single student has been absent and not one of them has been escorted by the security personnel from outside to come and write his or her papers,” he stressed.
Fighting broke out in Bawku last Sunday evening following which the government imposed a 22-hour curfew on the town and its neighbouring communities. The curfew hours were later reviewed to 16 hours.
The security agencies, however, offered to provide security escort for any student, particularly day students, who needed to write the examinations.
According to Mr Apanga, when the disturbances started on Sunday, many people thought school work and the examinations would be disrupted but fortunately for the authorities normal school work was going on smoothly.
“We have the WAEC Depot in this school, which serves three districts; Bawku Municipality, Gari-Tempane and Bawku West. This depot is under heavy security and whenever there is time to write a particular paper, supervisors come in to take their supplies,” he said.
Though the school is within the curfew zone, the headmaster allayed the fears of parents, stressing that the students were safe and sound.
He said even when the students had to go across the streets to fetch water from a borehole, they were not harassed by the security personnel.
“We have advised the students not to go beyond the boreholes and so far they have all complied,” he said.
He commended the Bawku Municipal Security Committee for its tremendous support, adding, “They have ensured that the school is well monitored both day and night to ensure that all goes well.”
Asked whether some teachers had sought to leave in view of the conflict, Mr Apanga said there were a total of 85 teachers in the school and when the crisis started on December 31, 2007, only one female teacher who hailed from Walewale requested for a transfer because she felt uncomfortable.
According to Mr Apanga, in consultation with the Municipal Education Director, the request was granted and she had since been transferred.
Meanwhile, some final-year students who spoke to the Daily Graphic expressed concern about the conflict in Bawku and appealed to the people to learn to co-exist in peace and unity.