GHANA NEW: WASSCE Candidates Sacked From Exam Hall Over Unpaid Fees
Some candidates of the ongoing West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) at the Oguaa Senior High Technical School, in Cape Coast were on Monday sacked from the examination hall over unpaid school fees.
A source told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the candidates, about 35 in number, had written their names and index numbers on answer booklets, ready to begin the Religious Studies paper, when the incident occurred.
The source said, the Assistant Headmistress in charge of Administration, Mrs. Eva Abakah-Wilson, walked out the candidates, majority of whom were day students, to go home for the fees, warning them not to return without part or the full amount owed.
However, some of them, who did not go home but stood outside the examination hall pleading, were called inside after an hour and about 10 minutes, while their colleagues were half way through the two hour paper.
The incident, the source indicated, had been a usual occurrence since the WASSCE began earlier this month “but today’s episode was too overwhelming, it may affect the results of these candidates if allowed to happen throughout the whole examination.”
Some of the candidates, after the examination, told the GNA, they were able to answer only one and attempted another, out of the four questions they were required to answer from the section B of the paper, since they were not given any extra time by the invigilators.
This comes at a time that when the Ghana Education Service had asked school authorities to refrain from unauthorized means to collect fees from final year students but rather submit their names to the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to block their results online.
When the GNA contacted Mrs. Abakah- Wilson, she confirmed that the candidates were walked out of the examination hall to go for their school fees but denied that they were called back halfway into the examination.
She said the only reason some of them might have returned to the examination hall late or missed the paper could be that they went home for the fees and either returned late or did not show up again.
She explained that the school had been compelled to take such measures because the students owed about GHc 48,000 .00, revealing that, some of the students had not paid their fees for a whole academic year while some owed more than GHc1, 000.
Fees for day students is GHC185.00 while Hostel Students pay about GHc 400.00
Mrs. Abakah-Wilson said the school registered the candidates, expecting their parents to pay the fees by installments before the examination starts, but all efforts have proved futile, adding that, the move compelled some parents to pay the fees.
She stressed it was not the school’s intention to frustrate the students but to compel parents to pay the fees owed.
Asked why she did not submit their names to WAEC to withhold their results rather, she said such candidates whose WASSCE results were withheld last year, had not returned to the school to payback, “They don’t even care”.
The WASSCE ends on May 15 with Technical Drawing and Animal Husbandry papers.