Insight: Writing BECE 2023
Little to nothing else filled our minds; the joy of playing games seemed second fiddle; the pleasure of social media suddenly grew dim; and our carefree dispositions had mellowed.
A group of anxious teenagers awaited the week of reckoning: The BECE week.
"Where had time flown to?" everyone seemed to ask.
What seemed like a myth was now too close to ignore and now it was ours to face like brave stoics.
The life of a final-year student is truly arduous.
The stress in itself outweighs every other distraction that might seem appealing.
Stringent measures are taken to ensure a flawless outcome.
Among other things, a series of mock examinations are taken, extra classes are undergone and many motivational messages are issued.
As a first-hander of this training, I can attest to the fact that life in Junior High School (JHS) 3 is truly demanding.
Rising at the dawn of August 7, 2023 (the commencement of the examination) held mixed feelings among all who considered themselves candidates; with some even praying for a postponement.
The hustle and bustle of the first day did not disappoint, as many students and teachers from different schools hurried their way to their already demarcated classes.
The customary last-minute studies were abruptly halted by a bell that sounded like a million decibels.
This was it, the beginning of the end in basic school.
For many, myself included, the first paper (RME) was both a sigh of relief and also a wake-up call.
A part of the stress had been lifted but it also plunged us into the reality of our state.
The compound was filled with students verifying and cross-checking with their mates on an examination whose content they could never change, and whose information they could never catch a glimpse of again.
The first paper was now a memory.
The days that followed went on rather smoothly with every examination paper giving us hope for the next.
On a personal front, my best moment is undoubtedly the very last paper that marked the end of it all, the true light at the end of the tunnel.
Being the only subject of the day, the French paper was one to look forward to; because it was a paper written in the morning, and it gave us the rest of the day for joyous celebration.
The confidence with which we wrote the paper was befitting for an end.
A journey of nine years in primary school was done and dusted.
It ended as quickly as it started and the race was suddenly behind us.
And as we ended, I could not help but enter my poetic best:
"A race well run
A task well done.
A stage behind us
Another in sight
We all wrote like athletes who were ready!
Truly the first race of many."
Hayfron El-Yadah Nyansah,
Formerly of the Pentecost Preparatory School, Madina-Accra.