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80,000 BECE Candidates To Write Special Mock Examination   
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About 180,000 candidates of this year's Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) are to benefit from a mock examination project initiated by the government to improve their performance.

The candidates are selected from public basic schools that performed poorly in last year’s BECE.

The government is funding the project at a cost of GH¢260,000 and the initiative is being implemented in all districts, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

Under the project, the first of its kind, the government will pay teachers to supervise and mark the examination papers.

The mock examination will begin on Monday, April 2, 2012, two weeks before the BECE scheduled to begin on April 16, 2012.

Out of the 375,280 candidates who sat the BECE in 2011, 176,128 of them, representing 46.93 per cent, passed for placement into senior high schools.

That figure, according to statistics available at the Education Ministry, is a drop from the 49 per cent pass rate recorded in 2010.

Speaking at an event to officially launch the project, Education Minister, Mr Lee Ocran, said the government was investing in the initiative, with the hope that it would motivate students, especially those in the rural areas, to approach the BECE with the confidence needed for them to pass.

He said preparatory tests were necessary to enable students to gain the requisite experience in answering questions and also boost their morale for them to face the challenge of writing a major examination for the first time.

He said all indications from previous results pointed to the fact that most students failed to make adequate preparations towards the BECE.

Mr Ocran said the project was a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to improve education in the country.

The two ministries have engaged the services of Global Education Enhancement Ventures (GLEEV), an educational research based firm, and the National Centre for Research into Basic Education of the University of Education, Winneba to implement the project.

In the Upper West Region, 9,838 candidates are to take part in the mock exam, while 16,932 and 28,970 from the Upper East and Northern regions, respectively, will benefit from the programme.

The rest are Volta Region, 22,114; Brong Ahafo,14,168; Western, 13,074; Eastern, 24,577; Greater Accra, 3,725; Ashanti, 21,277, and Central, 25,325.

For his part, Local Government Minister, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, criticised elements who had sought to link the poor run of results in the BECE to the government.

He pointed out that, it could not have taken three and half years of the NDC administration to prepare all the students who had written the BECE in the years under consideration.

He said even though the government had provided infrastructural support for schools countrywide, there was still more to be done in making quality education accessible, especially to the rural poor.

Mr Ampofo entreated parents and other stakeholders to also play their respective roles to ensure that the results from next April's BECE was better than those of last year.
Source: Daily Graphic

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