WASSCE (May/June) – Also known as the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), by its former name; this examination is made for all private and public schools in West Africa. They must also wear distinctive uniforms as described in the standards set by the school boards. This examination is offered during May to June, and the results are available by August.
In time past, students who were owing or hadn’t finished paying their school fees were prevented from writing the exams leading to most of them not being able to enter tertiary institutions and those fortunate among them had to wait to write the WASSCE (Nov/Dec).
This year, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education have cautioned school authorities not to sack or prevent students from writing the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) over non-payment of school fees.
The advice from the GES and that of Ministry of Education came on the heels of several reports that some students from the Eastern region and others were prevented by the school authorities from writing the exams over unpaid fees.
In a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations at the GES, Rev. Jonathan Bettey said no student should be denied the opportunity to write the examinations due to none payment of fees. The statement however entreated parents to make efforts to pay all outstanding fees to avoid student indebtedness.
“Moreover, management is duly aware of the financial challenges of some parents, so there is a cushioning for them to pay the bills by installments even if it is on a daily basis,” the statement said.
Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Institutions, Samuel Okudzeto- Ablakwa has also joined the GES to warn the school authorities.
He averred that the Ministry still holds on to the policy of not sacking students for fees and that any head who went against that to affect the future of the SHS candidates would be dealt with. Though the caution to the school authorities is belated, it is a call in a right direction. It is undisputable fact that many students go through psychological trauma when they were sacked for non-payment of fees or arrears especially after they have prepared their minds and ready to write their exams.
In many instances, most of them failed the subjects during which they were sacked while others even failed to pursue their education as a result of the trauma that they went through. Some social vices are attributable to school drop outs as well as frustrations on the parts of students who were prevented from writing their exams.
It is unfortunate that some school authorities who are well vexed that no student could gain admission to another level of their education until the students present certificates from their earlier school of completion would engage in that act.