A former Deputy Minister for Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has said the Ghana Education Service's) has been too harsh in the punishment meted out to 14 Senior High School students involved in acts of indiscipline in the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).The National Democratic Congress MP for North Tongu said although the acts of indiscipline and vandalism are condemnable, the GES seems to have killed an ant with a sledgehammer.
“I am one of many who have already condemned the misconduct of the WASSCE candidates which we saw in viral videos on social media. However, if there must be punishment, although I take the view that their apologies could have been considered - I have always subscribed to a punishment that reforms and not a punishment that destroys.
“The offending students could be made to sign a bond of good behaviour, allowed to complete the final examinations after which the release of their results may be delayed until surcharging and counselling obligations have been carried out. We do not have to destroy the future of these teenagers,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Some 14 SHS students taking part in this year’s WASSCE have been dismissed and barred from writing their remaining papers following various acts of indiscipline captured in videos and shared on social media.
Students of the Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School and Juaben Senior High School, for instance, threatened to boycott the rest of their papers because invigilators would not allow them to cheat.
Also, candidates of Bright Senior High School in Kukurantumi attacked some invigilators and a journalist.
The GES has said students who were in schools where the destruction of school property occurred are to be surcharged for the full cost of the damage and their results will be held until they pay these costs.
However, taking to his Facebook page, Mr Ablakwa said it is important for the government to initiate independent investigations into the circumstances that led to the “strange expectations and conditions,” that caused the students to misbehave in the manner in which they did.
Read his full post below.