Don’t prevent students owing fees from writing exams – MOE

PupilsMr Enoch Heymans Cobbinah, Chief Director, Ministry of Education on Tuesday urged heads of second cycle institutions not to prevent final year students from writing the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) due to unpaid school fees.

He noted that such actions contravened directives from the Ministry directing heads of second cycle institutions not to prevent students from writing the examinations due unsettled school fees.

Mr Cobbinah gave the directive at Okuapeman Senior High School during a tour of some second cycle schools where the 2013 WASSCE was taking place, in the Eastern Region.

He gave the warning when he learnt that some unspecified number of students at Okuapeman SHS had been prevented from writing the exams because they owed school fees.

Upon his instructions, the students were allowed to join their colleagues who were about to take their Oral English exams, which was their first paper.

He however indicated that the Ministry would not uphold any disciplinary measure taken by head of institutions against students who might have contravened school rules or regulations.

Schools visited by the Chief Director as part of his tour included Aburi Girls SHS, Adonten SHS in Aburi, Presbyterian SHS at Mampong Akuampim, Methodist Girls SHS at Mamfe Akumapim and Okuapeman SHS all in the Eastern Region.

At Aburi Girls, 1,061 girls made up of both form three and form four students were registered for the exams. All the students were present for the examinations.

Ms. Rosemond Bampo, Headmistress of Aburi SHS noted that the students had to take the paper, which was Oral English in two batches as the school did not have a big hall to contain all the student at a go.

As at 1000 hours when the Chief Director got there, the second batch of students were preparing to take the paper.

At Adonten SHS, which had a student population of 1,500, the students had been divided into three groups, the second batch of 500 students were seated when the news team got there at 1010 hours.

Mr Stephen Aboagye, Headmaster of Adonten SHS noted that they did not encounter any difficulty except that one student who had been duly registered failed to turn up for the exams because she had travelled.

At the Presbyterian Senior High School, three out of the 908 students who had registered for the exams were absent.

The students were divided into two batches with the second batch seated for the exams when the GNA got there at 1037 hours.

Mr Alex Berifi Obeng, Assistant Headmaster noted that the school had acquired a standby generator in case of a power outage.

At the Methodist Girls Senior High School, only one out of the 778 registered students was not able to sit for the exams because she had stopped schooling before the examination.

As at 1109 hours when the Chief Director got there, all the students had finished with the paper because the school had one big hall which was able to contain all the students.

At the Okuapeman SHS, a total of 1,101 students, divided into four batches, were registered for the exams with 24 of them being blind students.

The blind students who were separated from the rest of the students wrote the   Oral English with the assistance of a brail.

Briefing the press after the tour, Mr Cobbinah appealed to heads of schools not to hesitate to contact the Ministry if they encountered any difficulty as far as the examination was concerned.

He praised the teachers for the smooth conduct of the exams and for turning up to invigilate and supervise the examinations.

A total of 409,747 candidates are writing the WASSCE across the country with candidates from 724 public and private SHS.

This year’s examination would involve the highest number of candidates from the two batches of final year SHS students.

They include the last batch of four-year SHS students under the 2007 educational reform policy and the first batch of the three-year SHS students following the reversal of the duration of SHS from four to three years in 2010.

Source: GNA

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