Candidates Receiving Instruction before a paper.
It has emerged that quite a number of the candidates who are currently writing the maiden private Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE-Private) in the Volta region did not meet the entry requirements set by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
In all 95 candidates are sitting for the exams in the region. These candidates by this arrangement initiated by the Ministry of Education have been given the opportunity to have another go at the exams which they had failed at their first attempt.
Secondly, those who for one reason or the other never got a shot at the exams and hence could not progress to the senior high school level have another opportunity to do so.
However a tour by DAILY GUIDE to the exams center on Monday and Tuesday revealed that close to half of the 95 candidates are having their first attempt at the exams and are still in Junior High School, hence have not attained the required age of 18 years to sit for the exams.
An interaction with some of the students showed that just a handful of them are 18 years and either close or over. This revelation contravenes the requirements as stipulated by the WAEC guidelines.
Section 2 of the guideline states among other things that, ‘The examination is open to Re-sitters and First-timers. (i) Re-sitter: A re-sitter must provide the index number and year of examination for his/her previous sitting of the BECE. (ii) First-timer: A first-timer must be 18 years or above.’
It added that ‘Students in junior high schools (JHS) are not qualified to register for the examination,’ meaning that they only qualify after they had sat for the original exams at the end of their studies.
In addition to this ‘The date of birth of candidates would be printed on their certificates;’ hence those who faked their ages could have that haunting them for the rest of their lives.
The requirements further added that ‘Unqualified candidates caught taking the examination will have their registration nullified and be barred from taking any WAEC examination for 2 years.’
Despite strong opposition from teachers and other officials to prevent the press from speaking to some f the candidates, the few who spoke to Daily Guide admitted that their respective private schools registered them for the exams.
One of them said ‘my school registered me and I said 18 in the registration though I am not 18 yet. I am 16 years,’ the innocent looking pupil said. Most of them said they wanted to give it a try and get acquainted before writing their original exams in future.
The few who were re-siting were also excited at the opportunity to get a better chance at making it to senior high. Two of them said there currently in a senior high school they did not like and that they hope to pass better and change their school.
When contacted, the Volta Regional Branch Controller of WAEC, Samuel Bampoe expressed shock as he spoke to some pressmen in Ho. He noted that if the claims are well established, the Council will surely take a decision on such candidates at the end of the exams.
He explained that the development could be attributed to the online registration process which may have tempted some candidates to provide false information.
From Fred Duodu, Ho ( [email protected] )
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