This year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) organized by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) has commenced nationwide.
In all, 509,824 candidates from 16,060 schools will write the examinations at 1,772 centres throughout the country and the Ghana Education Service (GES) records indicate that there are 263,295 males and 246,529 females involved.
The 2018 figure of 509,824 is an 8.9 percent increase over 2017 which recorded 468,060 candidates.
From Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, Ebo Bruce-Quansah reports that a total of 21,140 pupils from 563 schools are taking part in the BECE at 83 centres across the region.
The candidates are made up of 10,708 females and 10,432 males.
The Bolgatanga Municipality presented the highest number of candidates, being 2,872 and the highest number of schools, 74.
Bolgatanga is followed by Garu, with 2,366 candidates.
This year, Garu District did not record a pregnant female BECE candidate. Same can be said of the Kassena-Nankana Municipality.
The Bolgatanga Municipality had two pregnant BECE candidates.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Ayine Bukari, addressed some of the candidates at the Bolgatanga Technical Institute before they sat for the English Language Paper yesterday.
The Minister advised the BECE candidates not to cheat or attempt to do so in order to avoid the cancellation of their papers and arrest for examination malpractice.
In the Eastern Region, Daniel Bampoe reports from Koforidua that a total of 46,993 are writing the BECE in the region.
The candidates comprised 24,512 males and 22,481 females.
Eric Kwakye Darfour, the Regional Minister and the Regional Education Director, Gertrude Mensah toured some of the examination centers in the region yesterday.
In Koforidua, the Minister visited the New Juaben Senior High School to assess the condition under which the students were writing their papers.
He urged the students to concentrate on their papers and avoid examination malpractices since it could cause them their results.
Fred Duodu reports from Ho in the Volta Region that about 36,081 candidates are sitting for this year’s BECE across the region.
They are made up of 19,154 boys and 16,922 girls from 1,312 public and private basic schools in 128 exams centres.
Although the examination began smoothly, last Monday morning, June 4, 2018, a few challenges were observed.
Reports from the Krachi Nchumuru District indicated that about 10 out of a little over 1,000 candidates were absent on the first day of the exams, and it is believed some of them were among the casualties of last week’s boat accident on the Volta Lake around Krachi.
Dr. Archibald Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, who toured some of the examination centers, cautioned the candidates against examination malpractices, since it could destroy their future.
“You’re going to be the second batch of the free SHS policy beneficiaries and I want to you to write these exams in confidence, because you don’t have to worry about fees when you pass and qualify for SHS,” he advised.
Emmanuel Opoku reports from Takoradi in the Western Region that a total of 7,763 candidates, comprising 2,285 private school candidates and 5,478 from the public schools are writing this year’s BECE in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA).
The figures for the entire region were not readily available as at press time.
Catherine Andoh-Mensah, the Metropolitan Education Public Relations Officer of the STMA, said the assembly had put all things in place to ensure a successful exercise for the students.
From Tamale in the Northern Region, Eric Kombat reports that over 46,744 from 865 schools are participating in the exams in the region.
The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Sa-eed, who toured some of the centres, urged the students to desist from exams malpractice and acts that could deny them higher education.
Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwah, Director General of GES, who was on tour of the region, told candidates in the Sagnarigu Municipality in Tamale that even though some students have not been able to select schools for placement yet, after the examination they still have three weeks to do so.
Alhaji Harun Cambodia, Northern Regional Director of GES, reiterated the need for students to stay focused and attempt the questions fearlessly.
Jamila Akweley Okertchiri and Nii Adjei Mensahfio report from Accra that a total of 23,659 registered candidates are sitting for the exams at 93 centers in the Accra metro educational area.
The Mayor of Accra, Nii Adjei Sowah, accompanied by the Accra metro Director of Education, Mrs. Margaret Frempong-Kore, visited some of the centers within the Metro to observe the start of the exams and encourage the candidates.
They visited schools like the Kaneshie West Cluster of Schools where 351 candidates from eight schools sat for the first paper, with two students absent.
At the Holy Family Cluster of Schools, 338 candidates from 12 schools wrote the exams with one absent.
The Accra Academy Center A and B had 15 schools, had a total of 413 candidates with two students not showing up.
DAILY GUIDE observed that the overall atmosphere was serene.
Students appeared calm and confident while invigilators were poised for the business of the day.
However, the late arrival of examination papers at some of the centers proved a little bit of a challenge, but it was promptly addressed by invigilators and supervisors.