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WAEC, Education Ministry discuss BECE, WASSCE and Covid-19

BY: Emmanuel Bonney

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has said it is liaising with the Ministry of Education (MoE) on how to go about the organisation of this year's Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

It followed the President's decision to reopen schools for final-year junior high school (JHS) and senior high school (SHS) students to enable them to prepare for the BECE and the WASSCE, respectively.

"For now, we are liaising with the Ministry of Education on how we can go about organising the examinations," the Head of Public Affairs of WAEC, Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, told the Daily Graphic Monday.

Easing restrictions

Announcing the first phase of easing some of the COVID-19 restrictions last Sunday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said from Monday, June 15, 2020, schools would be reopened for final-year students in JHS, SHS and universities to enable them to prepare for their exit examinations.

The decision, he explained, was taken in consultation with the teacher unions, comprising the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT) and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU).

Per the announcement, final-year students in JHSs, SHSs and universities could go back to the classroom under strict COVID-19 safety measures.

Report

"Indeed, final-year university students are to report to their universities on June 15, final-year senior high school (SHS 3) students, together with SHS 2 Gold Track students, on June 22, and final-year junior high school (JHS 3) students on June 29," President Akufo-Addo said in the televised address, the 10th in the COVID-19 address series.

On March 15, 2020, the President announced the indefinite closure of schools as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

He indicated that the MoE and the Ministry of Communications were to collaborate to develop e-learning programmes for students at the basic and SHS levels.

Subsequently, the MoE and the Ghana Education Service (GES) secured an agreement with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) for a free-to-air 24-hour dedicated channel for the broadcast of educational materials, beginning April 3, 2020.

The channel, known as Ghana Learning TV, currently broadcasts educational materials for both basic and SHS students.

Communicating decision

According to Mrs Teye-Cudjoe, after meeting the MoE and the GES, WAEC would come out officially on the writing of the two examinations.

“Whatever decision we take will be officially communicated to the candidates and the public,” she said.

On March 19, 2020, WAEC announced the suspension of this year’s WASSCE for school candidates until further notice, following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the West African region.

The council had registered 357,737 candidates to write the WASSCE from April.