A total of 375, 737 candidates will from today, Monday, July 20 begin sitting for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Ghana. The figure comprises 187,574 males and 188,163 females.
313, 837 out of the total candidature are the first batch of students to have enrolled in the government’s flagship free Senior High School (SHS) policy with the remaining 61, 900 being private school candidates. In all, 60 subjects including four core and 56 elective subjects are to be written.
Beginning with project work for Visual Arts candidates, the theory papers is set to commence from August 3, 2020, until September 5, 2020. The Ashanti Region has the highest number of candidates of 87,295 followed by the Eastern Region which has 56,467 candidates partaking in the exams.
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) which conducts the WASSCE concurrently in anglophone West Africa; Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Liberia announced on 20th March 2020 that it was indefinitely suspending the annual exam due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, upon discussions with Ghana following the country’s decision to ease COVID-19 restrictions and allow final year students return to school, it was agreed that the exams will be held independently for Ghana. For the first time, government absorbed the full examination fees of all students sitting for the examination at an estimated cost of GHS 75.4 million.
There has been a call for a review of the WASSCE examination timetable which has been described by an education think tank, Africa Education Watch as “strenuous”. Africa Education Watch, wants WAEC to review the timetable.
The timetable indicates that two elective papers for business students — Financial Accounting and Principles of Cost Accounting, are scheduled to be written on the same day, September 5, 2020, with only an hour’s break.
The think tank argues that the arrangement where two major elective subjects are written on the same day, for as long as 6 and half hours, with only one-hour break is “strenuous” and goes against “international standards of assessments at the secondary level.”
It said that previous attempts by the Ghana Association of Business Education Teachers to correct this “anomaly” have been unsuccessful.
“We may not be in normal times, but this certainly should not justify the imposition of such strenuous examination timetables, which are not in the best interest of the students to be examined. We are, therefore, calling on WAEC to review the timetable by postponing the said paper to either Sunday 6th or Monday 7th September 2020,” a statement from Africa Education Watch suggested.