The Ministry of Education says it is an offence for school authorities to prevent any candidate from writing the 2013 May/June West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) because he or she owes school fees.
The ministry said any attempt to prevent any candidate from writing the examination on account of the fact that he or she owed the school would constitute an infringement of the law.
The Chief Director of the ministry, Mr Enoch Hemans Cobbinah, said this when he visited some examination centres in the Eastern and Greater Accra regions to assess the conduct of the Oral English paper on the examination.
He was accompanied by Ms Benedicta Naana Biney, the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), and Rev Simon Asigi, the Director of the Secondary Education Division of the GES.
In all, 409,753 candidates from 724 public and private senior high schools (SHS) in the country are expected to write the examination.
This year’s examination involves the highest number of candidates of the two batches of final-year SHS, with the last batch of four-year SHS students under the 2007 educational reform policy writing the examination with the first batch of three-year SHS students following the reversal of the duration of SHS education from four to three years in 2010.
Officials of the Ministry of Education and the GES visited some of the examination centres to assess the conduct of the examination.
In the Eastern Regions, they visited the Aburi Girls’ SHS, Adonten SHS, Okuapeman SHS, Benkum SHS and Nifa SHS.
In Accra, they visited the Methodist Girls’ SHS and the Presbyterian Senior High School, writes Emmanuel Baah.
Mr Cobbinah said the ministry would not tolerate any school authority which would prevent candidates from participating in the examination.
For his part, Rev Asigi urged the students to abide by all the rules and regulations of the examination, noting that any misconduct would affect the outcome of the examination.
He said this year's examination was very competitive because of the two batches taking part in it.
He, therefore, urged the candidates to study hard in order to pass.
From Koforidua, A. Kofoya-Tetteh reports that the examination took off smoothly in the New Juaben and the Suhum municipalities, the only challenge being the small nature of the classrooms which were used in some of the schools as examination centres.
In view of that, coupled with the large number of students taking the Oral English paper, which is a core subject, the students had to write the paper in batches.
Two candidates failed to turn up for the paper at the New Juaben SHS centre, which also took care of candidates from the Universal SHS, while two others did not take part at the Ghana SHS, which also took care of candidates from Kingsby Methodist SHS.
Mr Joseph Adu and Mr Amoasi Badu, the Assistant headmasters of the New Juaben SHS and the Koforidua Secondary/Technical School, respectively, and Ms Peace Adede Amenya, the Assistant Headmistress of the Oti Boaten SHS, were happy that the examination had taken off smoothly.
Some of the school administrators were hopeful that there would not be any power cuts during the examination period.
Shirley Asiedu-Addo reports from Cape Coast that the Oral English paper went on successfully.
About 43,655 candidates are expected to write the WASSCE in the region.
A total of 1,279 candidates are writing the examination at the Mfantsipim School and examination officials in the school said the Oral English paper was incident free.
Adisadel College has 1,135 candidates writing the examination, while St Augustine’s College has 913 candidates.
When the Daily Graphic visited the Mfantsiman Girls’ SHS at Saltpond, the second batch of candidates were writing the Oral English paper.
The Headmistress, Ms Charlotte Addo, said 1,167 candidates were writing the examination in the school.
The Central Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Sarpong, visited some of the schools and urged the candidates to be determined and focus to come out with flying colours.
Story: Graphic Reporters