“When parents take their children to schools these days, they ask, what is the pass rate in this school? If my child goes there, would he pass? It will interest you to know that when it is time to do registration, there are students in the senior high schools, up north here who go down [to the southern part of the country]. People come from south, the Bono Ahafo areas and other things to come and register them in the Upper East Region here, they take them there. They go and write and pass.”
Richard Akumbasi, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) said this when he spoke to Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show.
Mr. Akumbasi insinuated that there are some schools within the southern belt, particularly the Bono and Ahafo areas that provide an almost automatic excellent pass rate to students who register with them for the WASSCE examinations.
“In our schools, we used to rank students when they write exams, from first to last. We had students on our red list who never got even a D in any of the subjects. Then they will abandon the school and go and register with a private school somewhere and then their worst will be a B.”
“There are people with A in English in those areas and when you ask them to write a simple application letter, they cannot even write. Even when you ask them to write their names, they will turn to ask somebody what you are talking about,” he added.
While admitting that the situation poses a severe challenge to the entire education system, Mr. Akumbasi said, “we are like ostriches. We just bury our heads in the ground and think that all is well.”
It would be recalled that students from the Bolgatanga Technical Institute (BOTECH) went on a rampage after four students and two teachers were picked up by officials of the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) for engaging in examination malpractice. The school was Tuesday temporarily closed down following the violent protest.
The school’s Principal said the students destroyed five staff vehicles, and some motorbikes and also attempted vandalizing the Vice Academic’s bungalow.
A similar incident happened at the Bawku Technical Institute.
Mr. Akumbasi, appalled by the development, decried the deterioration of discipline within the various schools. He reminded the public about the need for discipline and examinations that are conducted properly.
“I was shocked to the bone to hear students say that invigilators did not allow them to copy and that they [the invigilators] were very strict. What does invigilation even mean? In fact, if we knew that children would behave very well, and they would not even copy, there would not even be the need for invigilators.”
“Some people forget why an examination is important. The children are just thinking about the pass mark and then how to proceed to the universities and other tertiary institutions. They forget that examination plays the role of placing people in society. If the examination is not conducted properly, that would be compromised. The children also do what they do, and also hear that passing is a given.”
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana