The authorities of Cosmos School at Abeka Lapaz, an Accra suburb have vowed to prevent a final-year junior secondary school pupil from writing this year's Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) due to her failure to attend classes.
That was in spite of interventions by a Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Mr Kwame Ampofo Twumasi, and the Greater Accra Regional Director of Education, Mrs Akosua Adu, who were touring some examination centres to allow the candidate, Miss Belinda Onyah, to write the 2006 BECE which started yesterday.
The school authorities were of the opinion that the failure of Miss Onyah to attend classes for 52 days would affect her performance in the examination and the image of the school.
“We will ensure that she does not write the rest of the examination. As for private schools we thrive on performance and we would not allow someone who has not been tutored by us to write the examination in the name of our school,” the Director of Academic Affairs of Cosmos School, Mr Michael Nartey, said.
The incident, which took place behind the assembly hall of Achimota School, where the examination was being conducted, resulted in a confrontation between the Regional Director, Mrs Adu, and the school authorities, who were bent on preventing the candidate from writing the examination.
Mr Nartey explained that although the candidate had registered for the examination and was given an index number, she did not register directly with WAEC but through the school.
Both Mr Twumasi and Mrs Adu, who were stunned by the attitude of Mr Nartey and staff members of the school, deplored their action and said no school could prevent a candidate from writing the examination once the person had registered.
Mr Twumasi said the ministry would not take kindly to such an act and warned the authorities of the school to desist from carrying out the threat of preventing the candidate from writing the rest of the examination, since it was an external one.
Commenting on the examination in general, he said although the examination was conducted in an orderly manner, the question papers were delayed.
During the tour of some centres, most candidates who were supposed to be in the examination halls were seen outside, due to the late arrival of the question papers.
Instead of starting the examination at about 9.30 a.m., candidates writing at the Presbyterian Secondary School, Osu, Accra Girls Secondary and Achimota School, for instance, had to start at 9.46, 11.04 and 11.15 a.m. respectively.
At the Accra Girls Secondary School which had two centres, there were five absentees out of the 549 candidates from nine schools, while at the Achimota School there were 12 absentees with all the 383 candidates present at Presec, Osu.
Papers for the day were English and Religious and Moral Education.
In all, a total of 308,325 candidates from 8,079 recognised public and private schools were expected to write this year's examination.
Story by Emmanuel Bonney