The over 200 candidates from the three communities in the Bunkpurugu area who could not write the first day’s papers in this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) on Monday, would have to wait and write the papers later in the year as private candidates.
This, is because, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says it cannot be blamed for the plight of the students, and cannot also set separate questions for them.
However, they were able to write Tuesday’s papers following an intervention by the Ghana Education Service (GES).
Graphic Online’s Samuel Duodu, reported that, the three communities used to have an examination centre at Gbankoni, which was just about 3km away, but this year, a new centre has been set up at the district capital, Bunkpurugu, a distance of about 15km away from the three communities.
Previous years’ candidates from the three communities walked 3km to the centre but with the change of centre, the candidates now have to be conveyed in a bus.
Whilst some parents told Graphic Online they took the decision to prevent their children from travelling the 15km journey because of the conflict in the area, others said it was just because of the distance.
Setting up an examination centre is not a one off thing, it goes through a number of processes over a long period and therefore according to the Public Relations Officer of WAEC, Mrs Agnes Teye Cudjoe, the students would have to wait for later in the year, apply and write as private candidates.
She explained that the selection of the examination centres was done by the Ghana Education Service (GES) and subsequently communicated to WAEC.
Graphic Online gathers the centre was changed from the shorter distance at Gbankoni to far away Bunkpurugu because of an unresolved conflict between the three communities and Gbankoni.
Early on Tuesday, the Northern Regional Director of Education, Alhaji Mohammed Haroon told Graphic Online that WAEC was making an alternative arrangement for the candidates.
In the meantime, he stated that a bus has also been arranged to send the candidates to and from their communities to the new centre at Bunkpurugu, Duodu reported.
Alhaji Haroon expressed the commitment of the GES to ensure that all candidates in the region write the exams in a peaceful atmosphere.