The time for accountability has caught up with final year pupils of Junior High Schools. The period of three years of teaching and learning has run its course and is now under scrutiny. Junior High School finalists yesterday started to prove their mettle with the onset of the 2017 Basic Education Certificate Examination which will select qualified candidates to enter the Senior High Schools, Technical and Vocational Institutions. The four hundred and sixty-eight thousand and fifty three candidates are being examined in English Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Social Studies, Religious and Moral Education, Basic Design and Technology, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Ghanaian language and French which is optional.
For the first time these JHS candidates will experience what public examination is. Public examinations differ from examinations that normally take place at various Schools. Public examinations are conducted under strict rules, regulations and an atmosphere of tight security. Taking such public examination for the first time, these pupils are saddled with all forms of anxiety. They are eager to pass and pass well so that their dreams of securing their first choice schools become a reality. These pupils find themselves in an environment quite different from what they are familiar with and have to orient themselves to fit in.
These new experiences pose some psychological challenges to them. There is therefore the need to make them feel at home at the various examination centres. Not only do these pupils experience some form of anxiety, but same also applies to parents, guardians and stakeholders in education. It is their wish that their wards are successful.
Notably parents, guardians and stakeholders in education want to be assured that the examination would pass off without any hiccups. WAEC also is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that this year's BECE goes without hitches. In this vein, WAEC has put in place the following security measures. Pupils are not allowed to bring into the examination halls any unauthorized material.
On the other hand, WAEC officials can make unannounced visits to any examination centre to ensure that the conduct of the examination is in compliance with rules and regulations of the Council. Undue delay in starting the examination at any examination centre should be avoided. Nothing should be left to chance, because we live in an era where Information travels very fast especially with the advent of information and Communication Technology (ICT).
All stakeholders in education have a role to play to ensure the success of the examination. WAEC reserves the right to withhold results of any school who may be found to have cheated in the examination or even have its results cancelled.
Pupils who qualify to enter Senior High School next academic year would be the first beneficiaries to enjoy the free Senior High School Policy, and should therefore count themselves fortunate. This should spur them on to comport themselves well throughout the examination period and enjoy its attendant benefits.
BY: ALEX AMPONFI-DUKU, RETIRED HEADMASTER