The Ghana Office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has said it is focused on conducting this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), in spite of reports that Nigeria has withdrawn from the examination.
Nigeria, with a total of 1,549,463 candidates, has reportedly backtracked on its decision to participate in the forthcoming WASSCE as a result of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Ghana Office of WAEC said it learnt about Nigeria’s decision on social media and was yet to receive any formal communication to that effect, adding that once the Ghana government had not changed its mind on participating in the examination, WAEC was, for now, focused and committed to conducting a credible examination for Ghanaian candidates.
July 20, 2020, has been set for project work of Visual Arts candidates, while the written examination will start from August 3 to September 5, 2020.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Head of Public Relations of WAEC, Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, said: “We are focused in our preparation for the examination because the Ghana government has not communicated to us anything to the contrary.”
She said when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, WAEC suspended the examination; however, Ghana later initiated steps for the examination to be conducted for its candidates alone.
She said when the process for the Ghana examination commenced, the rest of WAEC-member countries also subscribed to the decision.
On March 20, 2020, WAEC had to suspend the WASSCE timetable and put on hold the conduct of the examination until further notice in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that is wreaking havoc globally, including WAEC member countries.
In April, WAEC received a request from the Ghana Education Service (GES) for the council to take the necessary steps to facilitate the writing of the WASSCE for candidates in Ghana.
On Sunday, May 31, 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced a schedule for the reopening of schools, from the tertiary to basic levels, to allow all-final year students to complete their programmes and write their exit examinations.
Final-year students in SHS returned to school on June 22, 2020, after almost three months at home, to prepare for the WASSCE.
Following Ghana's request, the process of engagement and consultations began among the member countries and the country-specific WASSCE was accepted at the Registrar’s Planning and Coordinating Committee, subject to the finalisation of a detailed timetable.
It was when the council forwarded confirmation from the GES to conduct the examination to the international body that the other member countries also subscribed to the WASSCE to be conducted in August 2020.