The Paramount Chief of the Ziavi Traditional Area in the Volta Region, Togbe Kwaku Ayim IV, has appealed to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to consider increasing the days for writing the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) to give candidates ample time to write their examinations and pass well.
The paramount chief, who is also a retired educationist, said: “The five days for the examination is too short and only puts a lot of stress on our little children’s brain and bodies, which also affects their performance.”
The syllabus of some of the subjects, he said, were loaded; yet the timetable did not favour the students.
“At the BECE level, the pupils are learning nine subjects which they are to be examined on all, yet they are expected to write two papers a day, which I think is too much.
“For instance, during our time, when we were in the middle school, we studied a lot of subjects but we were examined finally on only four. Even the four were broken into two sections, Mathematics and English at a time and then two or three months later, we wrote the other two subjects,” he explained.
WAEC must improve standards
According to the chief, even senior high schools and tertiary students were given a period of at least three weeks to write their examinations, thus, giving them a few days to write nine papers was not good enough.
He said giving them a number of weeks would be good because it would give the students adequate time to prepare for and write each of the papers.
“In my view, WAEC must improve the standard for the little kids, by first reducing the subjects to be examined on, to enhance performance. If the subjects cannot be reduced, then I suggest they write the examinations within three weeks to give them the opportunity to give a proper account of what they have learnt over the years in school,” he contended.
Touching on the issue of free education, Togbe Ayim indicated that some parents did not understand the concept and, for that matter, did not give their children food before they went to school because the understanding was that everything was free, including feeding.
Parents must be made to know their contribution to their children’s education because the neglect of their responsibilities is part of the children’s poor academic performance, he said.
Action week on education
This year’s action week on education celebration was on the theme, “Delivering free quality education for ALL in Ghana – What is the Roadmap?”
The Chairman of GNECC, Mr Rex Eleblu, stated that the celebration over the years had been used to highlight key issues in education which needed to be addressed and to advocate the provision of quality basic education in the country.