Over 200 candidates at the Mount Sinai Senior High School in the Eastern Region joined their colleagues an hour late on Wednesday March 30, to sit the ongoing West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) because they owed school fees.
This decision of the school seems to flout a Ghana Educative Service (GES) policy introduced some two years ago, which directs that candidates should not be prevented or frustrated from writing final examinations because they owe fees.
Speaking to Class News, one of the students said their headmaster only allowed them entry into the exam hall an hour after the paper started.
“We were supposed to have paid for the third term, but we could not pay. So, we were pleading with them to allow us to write the exams, because they gave us just three days to go home and come back with the fees, and it was not possible for our parents,” he stated.
“They [parents] were complaining that the system was hard…so, we came back empty-handed. We are paying registration fees; it is left with only the third term fees. Our headmaster said he was not going to allow us to write the exams, so, he delayed [us] by an hour, although we had only two hours to write the paper.
“So, we took a quick decision to report to the media, hoping that through that it will get to the government to intervene for us.”
Meanwhile over 260,000 candidates from various senior high schools across the country are participating in this year’s examinations.
Speaking to Class News, Head of the National Office of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), Rev. Dr Samuel Ollenu, said the council has put in place necessary security arrangements to ensure that the examinations are not compromised.
“We have raised our security levels to ensure that nothing untoward happens. We have supervisors and invigilators. We have given them briefing and what they need to do. We expect the teachers to be up and doing to ensure that the rules and regulations set out for the examinations would be adhered to. We expect them to be on their own doing independent work. Often time we mention it, time and again, that the question is within their reach, so, there is no need panicking and then engaging in exam malpractice,” he disclosed.