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06.07.2002 Education

BECE ends successfully

By gna
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The rewritten Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) ended successfully throughout the country on Friday. In all, 264,956 candidates made up of 144,997 boys and 119,659 girls from 6,795 schools were expected to take the four-day examinations in the cancelled papers.

However, a few failed to turn up for various reasons including pregnancy, travelling out of the country and deaths. The examinations were held at 958 centres with 833 supervisors and 9,300 invigilators.

Officials from the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and Circuit Supervisors from the Ghana Education Service went round to ensure that there were no interruptions. Security at the examination centres was beefed up so that those who had nothing doing with the examinations did not go there.

Some of the candidates interviewed said they expected to do very well. They said the rewritten papers were "more manageable than the cancelled April one". Miss Andromeda Aryee of Bishop Girls' Junior Secondary School in Accra told the Ghana News Agency that she was expecting to score a number of alphas in the examinations, saying that she found the rewritten papers easier than the 1 April.

The Ministry of Education cancelled some papers in this year's BECE examinations following what had been described as massive leakage of some of the examination papers. A 54 year-old typesetter with the Commercial Associates Limited, a printing firm in Accra, is standing trial at an Accra Circuit Tribunal in connection with the leakage of the BECE question papers.

Daniel Poku pleaded not guilty to causing the leakage of the examination papers and thus causing economic loss to the West African Examination Council WAEC), a public institution. Police Inspector Emmanuel T. Boison told the tribunal chaired by Mr Imoru Ziblim that last year, the WAEC, Ghana, entered into a contract with the printing firm, where the accused worked as a typesetter, to print question papers for this year's BECE.

The Prosecutor said the accused was requested to typeset some of the questions and in the process got access to all the examination questions. He thus took illegal possession of some of the question papers in English Language, Mathematics, Agricultural Science, General Science, Religious and Moral Education, Pre-Technical Skills, Pre-Vocational Skills and Social Studies.

Inspector Boison said, Poku later made photocopies of the exam papers and gave them to his son, one Benjamin Poku, who is on the run, to sell to a number of schools. Some of the leaked questions got to Dambai in the Volta region and other parts of the country.

He said following a tip off, the Police were able to arrest some people with the leaked question papers at Dambai, Hohoe and Accra, which also led to the arrest of the accused. The Prosecutor said as a result of the mass leakage, the Minister of Education, Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi cancelled some of the papers of the examination, which was conducted in April.

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