The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has honoured winners of the National Distinction Awards for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for the 2020 and 2021 year.
For 2021, it was an all-male affair as the winners were from only boys schools.
Aside from the fact that the winners were from boys schools, the intriguing aspect is that their schools are faith-based ones, with the Presbyterians winning the ultimate, and a Catholic picking the remaining two slots.
With the ambition to be a web developer, Asante Kwame Brako, a former student of the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School, Legon (PRESEC-Legon), who is currently studying Computer Science at the Ashesi University College, did not only emerge winner of the National Distinction Award; he was the first runner-up for the WAEC Excellence Award.
St James Seminary Senior High School (SHS) mounted the stage twice to pick both the first and second runner-up awards.
Kwaku Ohene-Amoani, who is currently studying Human Biology and Medicine, took the first runner-up award, while Nana Ransford Agyei Korang, who is pursuing Doctor of Pharmacy at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, grabbed the second runner-up position.
For the 2020 winners of the award, Cecil Tetteh Kumah, a former student of the Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, who is currently at the Columbia University, emerged Overall Best.
Godfred Aseda Obeng, a former student of Hope College, Gomoa Fetteh, who is currently pursuing Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ghana, Legon, and Afua Manukure Ansah, a former student of Achimota School and currently at the Cornell University, USA, took the first and second runner-up positions.
For emerging Overall Best students, both winners for the 2020 and 2021 each received the cedi equivalent of $1,200 from the WAEC Endowment Fund, GH¢30,000 and a laptop from Zenith Bank.
The first runner-ups each received the cedi equivalent of $900 from the WAEC Endowment Fund, GH¢15,000 and a laptop from Trent International, while each of the second runner ups received the cedi equivalent of $750 from the WAEC Endowment Fund, GH¢10,000 and a laptop from Japan Motors.
The Head of the National Office of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), Wendy Enonam Addy Lamptey, said the council was working with the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies to put an end to rouge website operators and social media scammers who made money at the expense of the credibility of its examination.
She cautioned candidates, parents and all stakeholders to stay away from websites that purported to have timelines for the examination.
“Some of the timetables made available are full of errors. This ploy is being used by some of these websites to register candidates and thereafter engage them during the examination period,” she said
She said the awards scheme was designed to publicly acknowledge the exceptional performance of candidates who eschewed all forms of malpractices to distinguish themselves in the examination.
“Our awardees are beneficiaries of sponsorship that we have received from a number of institutions,” she added.
Mrs Lamptey said to qualify for the excellence awards, a candidate was required to obtain grade ‘A’ in a minimum of eight subjects.
She assured all WAEC’s stakeholders that management would ensure that its credibility was not undermined and so they were preparing for their second webinar for their supervisors and invigilators on their role in upholding the integrity of the examination.
The Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Gifty Twum-Ampofo, who represented the Education Minister, said the ministry recognised the critical role education played in career development.
That, she said, was the reason why government had put in place interventions to ensure students were well-rounded, passionate long-life learners, innovative and positive agents of change.
The Registrar at WAEC, Pateh Bah, said the Endowment Fund set up by the council in 1982 was to encourage academic and moral excellence among the youth in the sub region.
He said the awardees were screened by the Council’s Selection Committee and were found worthy of the awards they were presented with.
Mr Bah mentioned that WAEC monitored the progress of its award winners who maintained top notch performance in their academic pursuits and careers.