The acting Minister of Education, Dr Joe Oteng-Agyei, has expressed satisfaction at the manner in which the ongoing West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) is being handled by the authorities of SHSs in the country, despite the challenges posed by the huge number of students writing the examinations.
For the first time in the history of the examinations, two groups- made up of the last batch of students from the four-year senior high school (SHS) and the first batch of the students from the three-year duration, are writing the examinations at the same time.
The Kufuor administration in 2000 changed the duration of the three-year SHS to four years but the Mills government in 2009 reversed the duration to three years.
This compelled the two final year groups to write the final examination at the same time.
Dr Oteng-Agyei said even though challenges had been anticipated as a result of the large numbers which were turned out from the two groups, the examination, according to him, had been conducted in a commendable manner. He stated this when he visited some selected SHS examination centres in the Cape Coast Metropolis and the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipal yesterday.
Dr Oteng-Agyei, who is the Minister of the Environment, Science and Technology and Innovation, is acting for the Education Minister, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, who is on duty tour abroad.
Accompanied by the Central Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Sarpong, he visited the Holy Child, Oguaa Senior High Technical School, Aggrey Memorial, the Ghana National, Mfantsipim, Adisadel, St Augustine’s, University Practice, Wesley Girls and the Christ the King Academy, all in Cape Coast and the Edinaman Senior High School in the KEEA.
At the time of the visit in the morning, the students were writing the financial accounting paper whilst the paper in biology was expected to be written later in the afternoon.
The Headmistress of the Oguaa Senior High Technical School, Mrs Anasthasia Okyere and the Headmaster of the Aggrey Memorial SHS, Mr Akwasi Amoantwi, in separate remarks, told the Dr Oteng-Agyei and his entourage that they had made special arrangements for students who owe school fees to write the examinations and pay later.
Mr Amoantwi told the minister that one of the students died before the examinations, whilst another died in the course of the examinations.
At the Mfantsipim SHS, the Assistant Headmaster (Academic), Mr Aitpillah Akpoh, said the schools faced challenges in the science practicals since the laboratories are small and did not have enough equipment to enable students to do the practicals at the same time and thus forced students to take them in batches.
Briefing the press at the Christ the King Academy SHS, Dr Oteng-Agyei said he was impressed and satisfied with the preparations by the schools authorities for the examinations and the way and manner supervisors and invigilators have performed their duties and assignments.
Two students were absent at the University Practice SHS, while three from the Wesley Girls High School were said to have travelled outside the country.
Story: Joe Okyere