WASSCE 2020 will not be replaced by university entrance examinations

Napo Speaks Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Education Minister

Mon, 30 Mar 2020 Source: Isaac Ofori

I have come across a news item making waves on social media on how the WASSCE will be replaced by a university entrance examination and I strongly believe it deserves a rebuttal.

I have written this piece to help educate the public and especially the WASSCE candidates who out of ignorance are milking the said purported assertion from the minister to remain in oblivion.

I personally think, the minister might have said this not out of policy direction but necessity looking at how overwhelming the world, as well as Ghana, is being confronted with a new enemy, the Corona Virus (COVID-19).

At the instance of the COVID-19, all public schools including private had been closed down accordingly. Initially, the final year students were asked to remain in school until WAEC came to announce the suspension of their time table. This forced the education ministry as well as GES to dismiss the final year students.

Whilst waiting to be called back to school and for WAEC to release a new date for the WASSCE, many students are contemplating about the certainty of the examination and the future of their education. Many theories and assumption had arisen out of the current situation with some anticipating that the WASSCE will be written in November or be postponed to next year.

It is in the midst of all these assumptions that the minister of education had added his voice to the confusion by conjecturing that the WASSCE may be replaced with the university entrance exams.

Frankly speaking, I don’t think the minister means it and if he does it paints a certain picture of incongruity.

The WASSCE is not an ordinary exam and every student is required to pass through to obtain a certificate that will enable him or her enters into a higher institution or gain employment. It becomes quite difficult to understand how a university entrance examination could provide one with a certificate for him or her to show that he or she had undergone senior high school education. Besides, most senior high school leavers would like to delay their university education due to financial constraint, so how would such individuals obtain a certificate to do so in the near future if they are ready to enrol with any of the universities.

We ask again, how would the university entrance examination be done? Would it be based on the WAEC syllabus or the universities will use their own discretion? If it would be based on the WAEC syllabus, what then prevents WAEC from going ahead to conduct the same examination for the students and provide them with credible certificates?

Per the assumption by the minister, his proposal will not suffice and I think he should quickly come out to clarify himself and to face the facts. If what he said too had been distorted, then I will entreat him to quickly come out to rebut his distractors because the pronouncement does not merit consistency.

Perhaps, the Minister should have advocated that all candidates might enrol with the university next academic year if the COVID-19 situation persists rather than advocating for university entrance examination as an alternative to the WASSCE.

I would through this write up, caution the final year students who are waiting to write the WASSCE not to be misled by online bloggers who want to gain popularity by publishing any kind of news to remain lazy. Rather, this is an opportunity for them to learn their heart out and arm themselves to the teeth to face the WASSCE like never before.

I believe that the new time table that would be released by WAEC towards the writing of the WASSCE will be less flexible and must not be taken for a joke.

I wish every student preparing for the WASSCE well and hope that the COVID-19 instance would soon wipe away for them to write their final exams successfully.

Columnist: Isaac Ofori