WEAC should educate students well on examination practices – Educationist

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has been called upon to intensify their educational outreach programmes on general examination processes so pupils and students would grasp the rudiments of writing and passing their examination papers more appropriately.

“WEAC must further educate  children on what constitutes for example, examination wrongdoings; what is classified as foreign material; the role of invigilators, supervisors and teachers during examinations, and how to handle question papers and answer booklets just to mention a few”, Mr Tetteh Nettey, President, Meridian Pre-University said on Thursday at a press conference in Accra.

Speaking on recent developments in the educational sector, particularly the poor performance of students in the recent BECE and WASSCE results, Mr Nettey said though the development was disturbing, there was no need for the blame game debates in the media but rather a real solution involving a tripartite approach which must consider management of education, parents and pupils or students all coming together to find solutions.

He explained that there was, first and foremost, Government and its agencies, educational institutions which include the administrative staff, teachers, teaching assistants, evaluators and observers.

Secondly, the Parents and guardians, discussion leaders, family heads and, thirdly, the pupils or students, all had a shared responsibility in ensuring that students passed their examination papers well.

He said for instance, WEAC could break the myth surrounding examination as most students entered the examination halls with fear and were further intimidated by some insensitive invigilators and police personnel in uniforms, adding that a more modern technology could be used to monitor the students at exam centres.

“We cannot accept a situation where we do nothing about the fact that only 46.93 per cent of the 375,280 candidates who sat for the 2011 BECE, met the criteria for selection and placement into Senior High Schools (SHSs) and Technical Institutions (TIs). This means that, more than 53 per cent of our children failed to make the mark with no opportunity of a repair.

“It is very worrying for a developing nation like Ghana to have numbers as huge as almost 200,000 pupils failing the Basic Education Certificate Examination; it’s economically untenable for our future and the future of this country of ours looks bleak with these statistics”, he said.

Mr Nettey also expressed dismay at the fact that in the 2011 WASSCE results, WAEC cancelled 4,448 subject results; 63 entire results; 118 ‘unqualified’ candidates and terminated the entries of 346 ‘unqualified’ candidates.

He said a serious look must be taken at the causes of such monumental failures and something done about them, stressing that if education was toyed with, “then we are toying with our very lives because everything else is hinged on education”.

He stressed the need to lead a new era of mutual responsibility in education, one where all stakeholders would come together for the sake of the children’s success and for the future of the nation.

He urged Government to bring back the Regional Library concept and make them interesting places for children to ‘hang out’ instead of them going to video centres. Government should again encourage community libraries and inspire supervised communal reading and studying, as well as stock libraries with books and journals

Mr Nettey appealed to the Ghana Education Service to research into and create new ways of learning the so-called difficult subjects such as Mathematics and Science, using modern tools and gadgets.

“Mathematics and Science must be made a lot more interesting, especially at the foundational stages of our children’s education,” he said.

He advised parents to ensue that the children were in school at all times, help them with their homework, and attend Parent-Teacher Association meetings.

He also indicated that school children must not see themselves as passive recipients of knowledge but as active participants in the process by learning hard for at least six hours at school, six hours at home, sleep six hours and engage in their social work hours in all in a day throughout the week .

Meanwhile, the management of Meridian PreUniversty have pledged to refund all tuition fees to any of its numerous students in the various universities around the world should they come out with first class honours on their graduation day.

Source: GNA

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