Students in Upper East are now running down south to register and sit for their WASSCE exams. This is because there is a high rate of the students passing there than their home region.
This is according to Richard Akumbasi, the Chairman of the Upper Chapter of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools,CHASS.
“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.”
The Upper East regional Chairman of CHASS revealed this when he spoke with A1 radio in Bolgatanga.
He added that there are schools in the southern sector particularly in the Bono and Ahafo areas that assured and actually 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,” Mr Akumbasi added.
He stressed that the case is great concern as it poses a severe challenge to the entire education system. He indicated that “we are like ostriches. We just bury our heads in the ground and think that all is well.”
It is strange that schools in the Bono and Ahafo regions come to advertise for students in the Upper East region.
Almost every corner in Bolgatanga is littered with banners of schools from those regions and one wonders why they will be advertising for students from another region.
Mr. Akumbasi spoke about the recent development in the Bolgatanga Technical Institute over examinations malpractice.
He said the development points towards the lack of discipline within the 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.”
The Ghana education service as a matter of urgency must investigate the growing phenomenon of schools assuring students of high grade and delivering same.
If it is proven that she schools get those grades on merit, then the service can take their method as a blue print for the whole nation.If on the hand, it turns out that there is something fishy, they must take drastic measures to halt it.