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BECE Now Albatross   
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The Director of Innovative Channels, publishers of children’s journals, Kweku Agyemang Duah has stated that the Basic Education Certificate of Education(BECE) is fast becoming an albatross around the neck of the nation, with all stakeholders struggling to revert the trend of the mass failures recorded each year, especially at the public schools.

He said the role the BECE was expected to play in shaping the child’s academic future was fast eroding and was now taken for granted. He said this must however not be allowed to continue but steps must be taken to change the trend.

Kweku Agyemang Duah made the statement at the Korle-Bu Zone National Basic Debate Contest dubbed ‘The Eye IQ Blaze’ held last week at the Martyrs of Uganda Catholic School, Mamprobi.

According to him, the innovative step to curd the mass failures was to stop what he described as the wholesale promotion, where thorough assessment was not done on the readiness of the pupil before allowing him or her to write the BECE, adding that all the candidates are permitted to write the exams on the mere fact that they are in JHS3.

He pointed out that continuous assessment must be taken of the child’s class performance from JHS 1 to JHS 3, a data which must be used to determine the candidate’s readiness for the exams or otherwise and those who are suspected not to be ready, will then be groomed thoroughly to get them prepared for the exams.

“What is the benefit to push a child who has proved from all indications that he or she is not yet ready for the exams? Let the government allow school authorities to present students who in their opinion would do well at the BECE. If anything at all, the wholesale promotion must stop,” he said.

Mr. Agyemang Duah said another important remedy was to offer general counseling sessions for the students starting from JHS1. He suggested that the counseling division of the Ghana Education Service (GES) must be expanded to enable the personnel visit schools in the country to psyche the children up and prepare them for the exams.

He debunked the notion that teachers were not living up to their task. He stressed that teachers were always unhappy when their students failed their exams but could not turn the tide around unless all the stakeholders took bold decisions to correct the anomaly.

Adding to his list of remedies, the Innovative Channels Director said government must consent to part-time or weekend classes at least for the JHS 2 and 3 pupils.

Kweku Agyemang Duah entreated parents to help in educating their wards instead of relying on the teachers solely. He emphasized that parental participation in the education of the Ghanaian child should not be an option but an encouraged responsibility to change the misfortunes of the BECE.

Parents have also raised concerns about the awful performance of pupils in recent BECEs.

Reports indicate that over half of the candidates who wrote the BECE this year failed to qualify for admission into senior high schools (SHSs) and technical institutes (TIs). They could not meet the required score of between aggregates six and 30.

The statistics provided by the National Co-ordinator of the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System, Samuel Oppong was that 176,128 candidates, representing 46.93 percent of the 375,280 candidates who sat for the 2011 BECE met the criteria for selection and placement into SHSs and TIs

Last year, 172,359 out of 350,888 candidates who wrote the BECE qualified for placement into SHSs and TIs. The figure represented about 49 per cent of the number of candidates.
Source: Daily Guide

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