The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), is livid over accusations that it is fond of marking down Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates from private schools.
It comes on the back of concerns raised by the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) following the outcome of the 2021 BECE and its attendant challenges with the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).
The Council contends private school candidates are being deliberately marked down in the BECE to give candidates from public schools an advantage during placement into Senior High Schools (SHS).
But reacting to these issues on Eyewitness News, Public Relations Officer of the exams management body, Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, insisted that these are grave accusations that must be backed with evidence.
“These are wild allegations from GNACOPS. I think that, they should go back and do their homework well and try and rectify the problem rather than relying on the false accusations that private schools are marked down. He who alleges must prove. These are wild allegations. I think they should prove because you can’t make these wild allegations and the feed the minds of the public with it.”
While asking the public to disregard these assertions, she further explained that the marking is done in such a manner that officers are unable to differentiate between private and public schools.
“I am a bit surprised at the allegations. We don’t have the name of schools on the scripts to know whether it is from a private or public school. Even with the envelope for the scripts, we do not make provisions for the name of schools. We have over 10,000 examiners so how do we get all these examiners and tell them that, these are scripts from the private schools so they should mark it differently from the public schools”, she quizzed.
Concerns of Private schools
President of GNACOP, Enoch Gyetuah, in an earlier interview on the Citi Breakfast Show, said the discrimination has resulted in the challenges many parents whose wards registered for the BECE with private schools are facing.
“Most of the private school students have been marked down, and we are calling for re-marking and even calling for an independent body to go into that. [There’s even discrimination in the aspect of placement]. The government has reserved 30% allocation to people in the public schools which means that if we write the same exam, and I am coming from a public school, I will be placed before someone from a private school irrespective of the grades we have,” he said.
He also observed that parents of private schools enroll their wards in public schools for their final examinations to avoid discrimination.
“Some public school heads even canvass [for private school kids]. They move from school to school for the students we have given a good [academic] foundation and register them in their schools. If you look at the trend, you will realize that we have an enrolment of about 40% at Class 6, but as they transit to JHS, the number reduces drastically because parents have realized that government has this allocation of 30% to public schools.”
Mr. Gyetuah, therefore, called for transparency in the school placement, which he said has been skewed to benefit people from public schools.
Enoch Gyetuah (GNACOPS)
He further lamented that the GES’ school placement resolution centre was only taking action for category C and D schools, hence complaints associated with category A & B schools are not being resolved.