File Photo: Some BECE candidates

Two Basic Schools in Kwahu Afram Plains South District in Eastern region have been temporary shut down for a week to accommodate candidates from remote communities writing Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

Afram Plains South District currently has only two examination centers- St. Fidelis SHS at Tease and Community Day Senior High School at Maame Krobo.

A total of 952 candidates from 32 public basic schools and 4 private schools are writing this year’s examination.

The annual practice has been that, candidates are ferried and transported from both Island and Inland communities by their parents and assembly members to sleep in designated schools closer to their examination centers a day to the exams.

The students cook and sleep in the mosquito infested environment until their last papers.

Afram Plains South District Education Director Mr Nyarko Frimpong told Starr News, “It is an arrangement we always do every year. They come with their teachers before they even come we had already prepared a place for them in some of the schools”.

He said the two schools shut down – Tease D/A JHS and D/A Primary and Maame Krobo – Soda Domeabre D/A Basic School were given additional contact hours a week ago to compensate possible lost to the arrangement.

“So as I speak to you these school the children are occupying we have given them holidays for these five days. Before we even gave them the holidays, I wrote a letter to the various heads to close the school at 4:00pm instead of the normal 3:00pm for the JHS students. So that they can use that one hour for additional teaching and learning so the children don’t loose so much contact hours, and those in primary I also gave them an hour so instead of 2:00 o’clock they closed 3:00pm. So the children are not in school because the candidates are occupying their classrooms”.

The Education Director said “the candidates are there with two teachers -a female and a male .The female teacher sleep with the female candidates then the male teacher sleep with the male candidates.

“We have our officer in charge of Basic school who goes there every evening to check if the candidates and teachers are there and how they take their breakfast and supper .They brought everything food they want to prepare for the children”.

Also the police have been notified to patrol in these schools at night for enhanced security for the candidates.

According to the Afram Plains South District Director of Education, Mr Nyarko Frimpong, BECE performance in the district has seen significant improvement in the last three years with average pass rate of 80% due to various interventions implemented including contracting subject specialist teachers.

He is therefore expecting further improvement in this year’s BECE results.

Meanwhile, two candidates were absent in the ongoing BECE in New Juaben South municipality in Eastern region.

While the female absentee candidate is reportedly sick and hospitalized,the other male candidate dropped out after registering for the exams.

Total number of 2,488 candidates were to write the exams in the municipality but for the two absentees.

Out of the number, 1166 are boys while 1322 are girls.

The candidates are from total of 76 schools made up of 49 public schools and 27 private schools.

None of the female candidates found pregnant in all four(4 ) examination Centres visited by the Municipal Education Director Mustapha Haruna Appiah and his entourage on Monday.

The New Juaben south municipal Education Director was impressed with low absenteeism and general peaceful and smooth conduct of the exams on the first day.

Some of the candidates told the media after writing their first paper that, the questions were cheaper compared to the mock examination they took ahead as part of the preparation hence hopeful of passing their exams.

Source: Ghana/ Ansah