A former student of the Wesley Girls High School in the Central Region, Ms Ann Abena Antwiwaa Sakyi, has emerged the best candidate in the May/June 2011 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) out of the 149,172 candidates who sat for the exam.
She was also named as the best in the whole of West Africa and will represent Ghana in this year’s 60th Annual Council Meeting to be held in Abuja, Nigeria.
Ms Sakyi, 20, was adjudged the best candidate in the General Science programme and received US$550 and two certificates for his award while, Mr Hameed Irbas of the Mfantsipim School and Ms Elikplim Ahiable, Wesley Girls SHS awarded as the second and third respectively with each receiving $250 and $200 a certificate.
Other award winners are Janet Makafui, a former student of Ho OLA SHS, who was named best candidate in General Arts programme and Mr Robert Adjie, an old student of Accra Academy who was adjudged best candidate in the Business programme.
They all received certificates and plaques to their alma mater.
The West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations National Excellence Awards was established by the WAEC Endowment Fund with an objective of providing prizes to candidates who distinguished themselves in the Council’s national and international examinations.
Speaking at the Diamond Jubilee edition of the distinction awards ceremony in Accra last Friday, the Head of the national office of WAEC, Mrs Patience Ayesu, said eligibility criterion for consideration for the awards was that a candidate must obtain a minimum of eight grade “A1s”. She added that out of the total number of candidates, 84 candidates met the criterion for the awards.
According to Mrs Ayesu candidates who were honoured competed with colleagues in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia for the international Excellence awards.
She said although Mathematics and Intergrated Science recorded high percentage of failures with each recording 23 per cent 19 per cent, the performance of students in those subjects were better than the previous year’s.
Last year’s (2010) Mathematics recorded a failing of 43 per cent while Intergrated Science recorded 44 per cent.
Mrs Ayesu said, in order to improve upon the grades, WAEC would continue to partner with other stakeholders to sensitise programmes to eliminate examination malpractices by publishing the identities of culpable individuals in the newspapers.
The Minister of Education, Mr Lee Ocran urged WAEC to constantly upgrade it’s computerise services of placement to ensure their proper functionality.
He expressed worry over the extent of examination malpractices that had pervaded the education system and called on stakeholders to support WAEC to achieve leakage-free examination.