The Ghana Education Service (GES) has maintained that it will go ahead to conduct the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for final year Senior High School students despite COVID-19 concerns.
Madam Cassandra Twum Ampofo, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the GES speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, July 9, 2020, said the Service has not received any contrary directive on the examinations.
“We’re going ahead with the WASSCE, we’ve not received any directive to hold on. We are going to conduct the exams and WAEC is preparing for that.”
On the issue of how the GES is prepared and the safety of the students in schools, the PRO, said “of course, we get reports from our heads, and currently, I can confirm the ones at Mfantsipim and Konongo Senior High School but we are not aware of Odogorno. It came out yesterday but it’s not true and so we receive such reports from the schools.”
“We have holding rooms in all the schools and we have trained health personnel there so when they come across any COVID-19 symptoms, the person is isolated. We have also mapped all schools to a health facility.”
The government reopened schools for the final year SHS and JHS students for them to prepare and take their exit exams.
But there have been calls for the government to close down schools and cancel this year’s exams after some schools began recording COVID-19 infections.
COVID-19 cases in schools under the control
The government subsequently allayed the fears of Ghanaians and parents saying the COVID-19 cases in schools have been put under control.
Dr. Yaw Adutwum, a Deputy Minister of Education at the press briefing on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, said: “I can understand why some parents went to the school to take their children home, but taking your child away at this point is not a very good option…So as I speak to you now, we are on top of the medical side of things and the Ghana Education Service is also on the education side of things,” he added.
The Deputy Education Minister further said counselors have been brought on board to help boost the morale of the students so teaching and learning could go on.
“We understand that, in the midst of all the anxiety, it is difficult for students to learn, but counselors are on-site now looking at ways that they can help the students recompose themselves and begin the preparations ahead.”
COVID-19: Nigeria reverses resumption of schools; cancels WAEC exams
In a related development, the federal government of Nigeria has reversed its earlier announcement on school resumption.
It also said no Nigerian school will participate in the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations earlier scheduled for August 5 to September 5.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu said the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) cannot determine the resumption date of schools for Nigeria.
He said he would prefer that Nigerian students lose an academic year than to expose them to dangers.
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