Education News

BECE in limbo – WAEC awaits GH¢48m to begin examination

Uncertainty hangs over the 2024 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) as the examining body, West African Examinations Council (WAEC), waits to recoup almost 98 per cent of GH¢95.83 million it needs to organise the examination.

WAEC has received just about GH¢2.3 million out of GH¢95.83 million required to successfully facilitate the exam. But the council insists that it would require not less than 50 per cent of the total amount to enable it to conduct the examination and a further release of more funds to enable it to process and release the results.

The examination is scheduled to commence on Monday, July 8 and end on Monday, July 15, 2024, at all centres across the country.

The Head of the Public Relations of WAEC, John Kapi, in an interview with Graphic Online’s Severious Kale-Dery, said even though some GH¢6 million had been processed through the Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS), it was yet to be translated into real cash.

ALSO READ  Life in USA is boring, so I returned to Upper East to continue my teaching – Wilfred Akapanga

Mr Kapi expressed fears that the examination might not be conducted as scheduled if the funds were not made available in time. “A number of suppliers out of goodwill have supplied materials such as bond paper for printing of codes, consumables for the printing machines, answer booklets, pencils and other examination stationery on credit.

“As a result of our indebtedness, they are unwilling to supply any further materials for the next examination, which is the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates 2024,” Mr Kapi disclosed.

Touching on the impact of the late release of funds, he said the current financial state of the institution affected every aspect of the conduct of the examinations. For instance, Mr Kapi explained, the situation had made the conduct of its mandated examinations expensive, stressing that “we have to airfreight some of the items needed for the examinations due to late purchases” instead of ordering to receive them by sea.

ALSO READ  Director-General drops updates on the distribution of TM1 Laptop

Mr Kapi said because of the delayed payments from relevant bodies for the examination logistical materials, the council had no option but to airfreight the script envelopes, which would cost about $29,000 instead of by the sea freight, which would have cost the council about $6,500.

He explained further that currently, the council urgently needed script envelopes for the examination, adding that what was available in its possession was not enough even for the BECE, not to talk of the WASSCE, which would follow the BECE within a month by the current schedule.

He explained that over the years, the council had been receiving its examination materials through the sea freight, but that, he said, was not possible this year because there was no time.

Mr Kapi added that some of the items bought locally were exorbitant because “we buy on credit, and this limits our ability to negotiate for good prices”.

ALSO READ  Updates: GES drops new updates of 2023/24 academic calendar

For the efficient conduct of the examinations, he said, WAEC currently did not have the needed resources in the form of personnel and equipment such as scanners and biometric equipment to check malpractice.

Mr Kapi explained that even though the council had scanners and biometric equipment the previous year, it was necessary to procure more to augment what was already there, and also recruit more personnel since the candidature for each year kept increasing.

“As it is now, we are unable to introduce innovations geared at curbing malpractices,” he told the Daily Graphic, describing it as a worrying situation. Mr Kapi said because of delays in payments in previous engagements, there had been agitation on the part of supervisors, invigilators, examiners and script checkers.

He said the council was committed to conducting credible examinations, and, therefore, appealed for adequate logistics and funding to enable it to execute its mandate diligently.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button