From Monday, June 10 to Friday, June 14, 2019, a record number of 517,332 candidates will begin this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) nationwide.
This figure is made up of 263,616 males and 153,716 females.
For the past three years, these candidates have been bracing themselves for these five days and nothing untoward should stand their way in their march towards higher education.
The BECE is a milestone in the lives of the candidates, as it is their first-ever external examination, after four years in pre-school, six years in primary and three in junior high school (JHS).
It is, therefore, to be expected that these candidates will feel nervous and anxious as the days tick towards the examination, for which reason some will be prepared to do anything, fair or foul, with the aid of some scrupulous adults, to enable them to pass the examination.
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It is worrying that adults, who are supposed to be role models for these children, rather mislead them by introducing them to cheating as a way to success.
Reports that some rogue website operators, some unscrupulous head teachers and proprietors/proprietresses of schools are taking money from some of the candidates, with the promise to get them question papers ahead of the examination or help them in the examination halls, should be something to worry about.
It is common knowledge that some supervisors and invigilators use their positions to aid the candidates in the examination halls for a fee.
It is in the light of these that WAEC has advised candidates and the public to ignore those websites and report the activities of their operators to the security agencies for swift and decisive action.
In addition to the advice, WAEC has also introduced new measures to safeguard the integrity of the BECE.
One such is the directive that the use of mobile phones by supervisors, invigilators and candidates is prohibited in the examination halls.
Also, no supervisor or invigilator will be allowed, under any circumstance, to supervise or invigilate candidates from schools to which he or she is affiliated.
This is particularly important because some head teachers, proprietors and proprietresses are known to always take money from candidates, so that supervisors and invigilators could be influenced to allow cheating in the exams halls.
It is in view of this that the call by the Ghana Education Service (GES) on the security agencies to help deal decisively with all those who will attempt to undermine the integrity of the exercise and jeopardise the future of the candidates is reassuring.
The Daily Graphic endorses this call and further challenges the security agencies to deal with all cases of reported examination malpractice without fear or favour.
We also wish to encourage Ghanaians to revisit our time-tested values as a nation and inculcate in our little ones what Ghanaians are noted for — honesty — instead of exposing them to dishonesty and cheating and helping them to cut corners to succeed, which often fails.
The Daily Graphic wishes to re-echo the advice by the WAEC to the candidates that the examination is within their capability and, therefore, they do not need any external help whatsoever to enable them to succeed.
While wishing them the best of luck in the examination, we wish to advise them to stay clear of any interference in their quest for higher education and better life in the near future.
Good luck to you all.