Story: Hadiza Nuhhu Billa Quansah
The Ghana Education Service (GES) is to deal ruthlessly with school authorities who take money from parents and guardians to register their children for external examinations but fail to fulfil their part of the bargain.
According to the Minister of Education, Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, any proprietor or headmaster found wanting would be made to face the full rigours of the law.
The Minister made this pronouncement in an interview with this paper during a tour of some Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) centres in the Ga West and Ga East Districts of the Greater Accra Region.
Mr Tetey-Enyo, who was accompanied by the Director- General of the GES, Mr Samuel Bannerman-Mensah, requested parents to support the GES and the ministry in identifying unlicensed schools so they could be closed down to avoid unnecessary pressure on parents in future.
The minister cited the Christ the King International School in Kumasi where 106 final-year BECE candidates were not registered for this year’s examination although various sums of money had been collected from parents. “Meanwhile, the school is not accredited for the examination yet the school went ahead to collect money from the children and issued them index numbers which turned out to be fake ,” he stated.
Some of the students are said to have been expelled from various schools for indisciplined acts, while others were said to have swindled their original schools of school fees and registered for the exams at the Christ the King International School because they thought they could get away with it.
At exactly 10:38am, Mr Tettey-Enyo stopped at the Ghanata Senior High School centre where 18 schools were writing the BECE. When the team of reporters got there, the children had already finished with the one-hour English Language Paper One (objectives) and were getting ready for the Paper Two which started at exactly 10:42 am.
The situation at the West Africa Senior High School was different. The morning papers came in late and that delayed the commencement of the English Language Paper Two. When the team got to the centre, all the candidates were outside the halls and classrooms. Some were revising their notes whiles others were chatting with their friends to while away time.
Mr Kingsford Annane, the Examination Officer for Ga East Municipality, attributed the delay of the papers to the fact that one of the vehicles that was supposed to deliver the papers had a little technical problem.
He mentioned that in all 5,670 candidates in the Ga East Municipality were writing the examination. That involves 131 schools with 22 examination centres.
Mr Annane appealed for more policemen to help escort the papers to the various centres as some of the security personnel who had been detailed to be at post at certain examination centres were not there as at the time of the visit. “For instance, the St John’s Grammar School centre had no policeman on duty, therefore, we have to dispatch the only one at the PRESEC, Legon centre to accompany the papers to St John’s.”
Some of the students from the private schools who were interviewed by the Junior Graphic seemed highly confident about what they wrote in the first paper. However, their colleagues from the public schools seemed uneasy and were anxious as they waited for the second paper of the day, which was Religious and Moral Education.