President Akufo-Addo and Second Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo and his wife Rebecca Akufo-Addo have sent best wishes to the candidates taking the 2019 Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE).
In separate tweets, the President and First Lady encouraged the pupils to excel in order to enjoy the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
“Best of luck to the 517,332 students sitting this year’s BECE, Free SHS awaits you,” President Akufo-Addo tweeted.
“Good luck to our precious children taking their BECE exams, which starts today. I pray that all their needs are met and for God’s grace to cover them throughout this week and beyond. Let’s do the best we can to make them feel at ease during this period,” said Mrs. Akufo-Addo also tweeted.
Over 500,000 candidates are sitting for the week-long examinations, which commenced yesterday, June 10, 2019, at various centres of the country with little or no hitches.
The candidates from 16,871 schools are taking their exams at 1,880 centres throughout the country under strict supervision from invigilators and security personnel.
The smooth take-off of the exams can be attributed to the enforcement of measures put in place by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to curb malpractices, including banning invigilators and officials from using mobile phones near the examination centres.
DAILY GUIDE visited some examination centres in Accra which were calm.
Interaction with the candidates after the first paper which was English language revealed that the students were confident and highly prepared.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly (AWMA), Sandra Owusu-Ahinkorah, earlier in the day paid a visit to some centres where she interacted with the candidates.
She encouraged them to give off their best.
She also engaged the teachers and management of the various schools in a bid to ascertain the preparedness of the pupils.
She charged them not to allow anxiety to have the better part of them and that they should see the examination as one of their usual class exercises.
At the Kanda 3&4 examination centres, seven schools had successfully written their first paper and were waiting for the second paper for the first day which was Religious and Moral Education.
All the students were present for the English Paper at the Kanda 3&5 Centres.
“No I have not encountered any examination malpractices and the invigilators and security are doing their job,” said Ebenezer Lamptey, a centre supervisor.
“Yes, yes. Some people told me that it’s going to be easy. Some people told me that it is difficult so I studied,” said Ali Mohammed, a candidate at the Kanda 3&5 centre.
“When I saw the paper, I was very excited because when I came here on Friday, I saw it’s like just a class test. So I was very happy,” said Justine Essiam from Nima Presby.
“I am Quareshie Henry and I am from Kings Royal International School. The preparation was much easy with the help of our teachers. So we found the exams very cool, easy and also nice. It’s not all that difficult,” another student stated.
From Tema, Vincent Kubi reports that the candidates were admonished against examination malpractices.
The Chief Executive of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, said examination malpractice could lead to the cancellation of the results of candidates, thereby wasting the investments made by their parents.
He was joined by officials of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Alhaji Shehu Khadiri, Tema Metro Coordinating Director and Frank Asante, PRO of TMA, to tour some BECE centres in Tema.
For her part, Margaret Nsiah-Asare, Tema Metro Education Director, advised the candidates to read questions carefully before attempting to answer them.
Meanwhile, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, has also cautioned candidates taking this year’s exams against any form of spiritual intervention to help them pass their exams.
According to him, spending time to see pastors for spiritual warfare is an exercise in futility.
“Keep revising your notes, read and understand instructions and always answer questions you have enough answers to. There is no magic in helping one to pass their examination,” he said.
From Bolgatanga, Ebo Bruce-Quansah writes that girls outnumbered the boys in this year’s BECE in the region.
According to him, 22,002 candidates in the Upper East Region registered for the BECE at 88 selected examination centres across the region.
The number of girls (11,299) outnumbered that of the boys (10,103).
According to him, the situation can be attributed to the formation of girls’ peer clubs in basic schools and also other activities by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) towards the development of girls.
In 2018, a total of 21,140 finalists sat for the examination, which implies this year has recorded a 3.9 per cent increment.
Before the start of the first paper, the Upper East Regional Minister, Paulina Abayage, visited some of the examination centres in the Bolgatanga Municipality to interact with the finalists and encourage them.
According to I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., from Kumasi, a female BECE candidate in a private school failed to take part in this year’s examination due to pregnancy.
Perhaps due to fear of stigmatization or other factors, the candidate failed to show up during the first day of the BECE yesterday.
Martha Owusu Agyeman, the Kumasi Metro Director of Education, who made the disclosure, said the pregnant candidate should have mustered courage to take the examination.
She disclosed this when she joined Kumasi Mayor, Osei Assibey Antwi, to visit some BECE centres in Kumasi.
Fred Duodu, From Ho reports that a headmaster and a proprietor of the Kekeli International School at 2nd Low Cost, a suburb of Aflao in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region, were arrested yesterday for allegedly registering 62 foreign students illegally for the BECE.
The MCE, Elliot Edem Agbenorwu, who confirmed the incident to DAILY GUIDE, said that out of the 156 students, who registered for the exams by Kekeli International, 62 students are suspected to be Nigerians studying at the Faith Mission School in neighbouring Togo.
The headmaster, Innocent Agblevor and the proprietor, Emmanuel Mawuli, are currently in the custody of the Aflao Police assisting the police in their investigations.
He explained that the school’s head and proprietor were arrested because preliminary investigations sanctioned by the Municipal Security Council, which he chairs, found that the students were ‘smuggled’ and not properly documented under the Ghanaian Immigration laws.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri & Nii Adjei Mensahfio