The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says 62.16 per cent of students who sat for the 2008 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) qualified to enter senior high schools and technical institutes.

The candidates, numbering 210,282, scored between aggregates six and 30, thus meeting the requirements for placement into second-cycle schools under the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS), WAEC maintained.

According to the council, recent media publications to the effect that 50 per cent of candidates who sat for the examination failed could therefore not be accurate.

The Senior Public Affairs Officer of WAEC, Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, said WAEC had not given any report or granted any interview to any media house to warrant the earlier publications, which she described as totally false and without any basis.

“In fact, you are the very first person to receive this report,” she said. Mrs Teye-Cudjoe further explained that the only report the council had issued since the release of the results was the one to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports “but even that was not as detailed as what I just have given you,” she added.

The report notes that out of the 338,289 candidates who sat for the examination, 23,169, representing 6.84 per cent, obtained aggregate 6-10, while 66,906, representing 19.78 per cent, obtained 11- 20, with 120,207, representing 35.54 per cent, getting 21- 30.

She said 91,949 candidates, representing 27.18 per cent, obtained aggregate 31- 40; with 31,428 candidates, representing 9.29 per cent, getting 41-50 while 2,635 candidates, representing 0.59 per cent, scored 51- 59.

Another 1,995 candidates, representing 0.59 per cent, also obtained aggregates 60- 99.

According to Mrs Teye-Cudjoe, BECE grading principles did not make any provision for failure, since the grade made by a candidate only showed his or her level of attainment compared to other candidates.

This year’s results, she said, were not much different from the known trend, and explained that last year 196,240 candidates, representing 61.28 per cent, made aggregate scores of 6- 30.

Again, in 2006, 190,924, representing 61.91 per cent of candidates, also scored between 6- 30, she said.

Aggregates 6- 30 form the requirements for the placement under the CSSPS but this, Mr Stephen Adu, Director in charge of Basic Education at the Ghana Education Service, said did not mean that those whose scores were below this bracket had failed.

“Even schools with zero per cent are not classified as failed, he said and explained that some students may have passed in some subjects but could not qualify. “This does not deny them their certificates,” he added.

The BECE, he said, was for both placement and certificate but analyses were currently being done for placement because of the premium Ghanaians had placed on higher education.

People with the BECE certificates, he further explained, could also apply for job placement as was in the case with the Middle School Certificate.

Currently, entry into Senior High Schools (SHS) has become very keen.

There are 494 public SHS and 26 technical schools nation-wide. Of the number, 175,117 vacancies exist in the SHS, while there are 6,635 vacancies in the technical schools.

In all, there is a total of 181,752 vacancies in both SHS and technical schools, creating a backlog of 28,248 students.

Mr Adu said it was expected that the remaining students who would not get access to the public SHS and technical institutions would be absorbed by the private schools.

“This is one of the reasons why the government is introducing the apprenticeship schools idea, which is a combination of formal and informal training to absorb part of the backlog of students,” he said.

Source: Daily Graphic

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