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13 June 2016

Why schedule BECE exams in rainy season – Pratt asks

waec exam classManaging Editor of the Insight Newspaper and Social Commentator, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has heavily criticized managers of Ghana’s education sector for scheduling the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE),- which is an external examination for students of Junior High Schools during the rainy season.

According to him, it makes no sense to hold such a critical examination in the month of June, which will compel the students to go out there even in the onset of heavy rains; a situation he argues put their lives in danger.

The Ghana Meteorology Authority has warned of heavy rains in the month of June as has further asked the public to take precautionary measures.

Several parts of Accra in the past few days have been flooded following downpour with Thursday being the worst. Many commuters who were on their way to work had to seek refuge at safer places.

Places like the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Kaneshie, Adabraka, Awoshie and Tema among others, were some of the worst affected areas.

It took the intervention of Police personnel and officers of the 48th Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Army to rescue school children who had been trapped in some schools in Accra.

The BECE has been scheduled for Monday, June 13 to Friday 17th, 2016 where students will sit the examination to enable them to progress to the Senior High School.

But veteran Journalist Kwesi Pratt Jnr wants managers of the educational sector to be forward thinking and draw programmes at a time that will not threaten the safety of students.

“If it were not the team of Military and police personnel who went out there to rescue school children, who were trapped in the various schools in parts of Accra, Ghana would have once again recorded loss of lives during last Thursday’s flooding.

“So why is it that on our calendar we know that every year in June there are heavy rains and yet we go along and fix examination around, this time, a situation that compels these children to go out. Can’t we have an educational calendar which takes account of our rainfall pattern… it shouldn’t be difficult for us to do this simple exercise as a people.”

Meanwhile, a total of 438,048 candidates from 14,267 public and private junior high schools (JHSs) will sit the BECE across the country at 1,598 centres.

The number represents an increase of 35,966 over last year’s figure of 392,082. The candidates are made up of 239,963 males and 221,050 females.

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