The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says it is ready to look into concerns raised over the nature of the timetable for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for candidates in Ghana.
An Education think-tank, Africa Education Watch, has asked WAEC to review the timetable because two elective papers for business students — Financial Accounting and Principles of Cost Accounting, are scheduled to be written on the same day, September 5, 2020, with only an hour’s break.
The Africa Education Watch argues that the arrangement where two major elective subjects are written on the same day, for as long as 6 and half hours, with only one-hour break is “strenuous” and goes against “international standards of assessments at the secondary level.”
But, Public Relations Officer of WAEC, Agnes Teye-Cudjoe in an interview on Citi Breakfast Show indicated that the concerns will be forwarded to the appropriate bodies.
“This is one of the constraints we had to work with. We are conducting the exams over a shorter period and again there are some candidates who are doing some combination which runs across programmes. So all these intricacies are needed to be taken into consideration. We are also looking at the timetable with some of the member countries that have certain subject combinations.”
Mrs. Teye-Cudjoe says despite the existing examination challenges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the council will in collaboration with its international timetable committee give a hearing to the proposal.
“Whatever concerns that have been raised will be forwarded to the international timetable committee for them to see how best we could solve that problem. I will not be able to say whatever decision will come out of it”, she said.
Africa Education Watch indicated that previous attempts by the Ghana Association of Business Education Teachers to correct this “anomaly” have been unsuccessful.
“We may not be in normal times, but this certainly should not justify the imposition of such strenuous examination timetables, which are not in the best interest of the students to be examined. We are, therefore, calling on WAEC to review the timetable by postponing the said paper to either Sunday 6th or Monday 7th September 2020,” a statement from Africa Education Watch suggested.
The 2020 WASSCE in Ghana
A total of 375, 737 candidates will from today, Monday, July 20 begin sitting for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Ghana.
The figure comprises 187,574 males and 188,163 females.
313, 837 out of the total candidature are the first batch of students to have enrolled in the government’s flagship free Senior High School (SHS) policy with the remaining 61, 900 being private school candidates.
In all, 60 subjects including four core and 56 elective subjects are to be written.
Beginning with project work for Visual Arts candidates, the theory papers are set to commence from August 3, 2020, until September 5, 2020.
The Ashanti Region has the highest number of candidates of 87,295 followed by the Eastern Region, which has 56,467 candidates partaking in the exams.
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) which conducts the WASSCE concurrently in anglophone West Africa; Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Liberia announced on 20th March 2020 that it was indefinitely suspending the annual exam due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, upon discussions with Ghana following the country’s decision to ease COVID-19 restrictions and allow final year students return to school, it was agreed that the exams will be held independently for Ghana.
For the first time, government absorbed the full examination fees of all students sitting for the examination at an estimated cost of GHS 75.4 million.