WASSCE: Education Minister Tours Some Schools

Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has implored all Heads of Assisted Senior High Schools to heed his directive to them not to prevent any student from writing the ongoing West African Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

Hon. Opoku Prempeh reinforced his directive when he visited three Senior High Schools in Accra on Thursday, March 30, to monitor preparations towards the WASSCE by the various schools.

Hon. Opoku Prempeh further urged head teachers to allow all final year students to fully participate in the examinations and non-payment of fees should not hinder any student from achieving this aim of the Ministry of Education.

He empathized with the students, stating that "the kids have gone through 3 years of academic exercise and no head teacher and I'm saying it again, no head teacher should prevent a student from writing an exam because that child hasn't paid the school fees...There are other ways of collecting the money".

According to him, it's a "catastrophic event" to resist any final year student from actively taking part in the examinations and so stressed that "any headmaster that would come to our notice" to have flouted the directive will render an account to the Education Service.

They "should be made to account and justify the reason," the Sector Minister charged.

The position, he continued, remains that "going forward, no head teacher should prevent a final year student from writing an exam based upon not paying fees. We believe that in 3 years when the SHS, free SHS, cycle begins; there will be no need anyway because school fees are going to be absolved or will be absolved from September".

Speaking to the press during his monitoring tour to the schools, he expressed his satisfaction with the level of preparations and progress of the WASSCE, saying he is "impressed with the environment, the security and the safety; the serene atmosphere of those three schools we have gone to...The second thing is the exams are being conducted in a very peaceful manner, no disruptions, no distractions."

He noted that the tour is aimed at encouraging the students that "life is beginning for them. So, they should take it seriously. They should not indulge in any form of cheating whatsoever because it doesn't pay. They should concentrate, put in their best and leave things to God."

The Minister toured three schools in the Greater Accra Region - the Presbyterian Senior High School (PRESEC), the Achimota Senior High School and the Accra Girls Senior High School.

During the tour, it was realized that 925 candidates of PRESEC are sitting for the exams while 936 and 506 candidates are also writing the exams in the Achimota and Accra Girls Senior High Schools respectively.

Headmistress of the PRESEC, Lady Queen Asiedu Abrafi called on her students to have confidence in themselves and ensure they break their last year record in the exams which saw 37% of the students acquiring straight 8 A(s).

At Accra Girls, the situation was a bit different as the Headmistress intimated told the media that 3 students have absented from participating in the exams.

Two hundred and eighty nine thousand, two hundred and seven (289207) candidates are expected to write this year's WASSCE.