Challenging Heights, a child rights organisation, has called on the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the Ghana Education Service to set up centres that will enable BECE candidates to write the exams in communities where they live.
According to the organisation, the practice of setting up BECE centres several kilometres away from where the candidates live burdens parents and expose the female candidates to sex predators because they have to be camped.
The President of Challenging Heights, James Kofi Annan, spoke to the media when the organisation helped procure several buses to convey the candidates to and from the various centres for the entire duration of the exams.
He stated: “In the past, many parents could not afford the cost of the transportation to the BECE centres, and this resulted in many children either failing to show up at the centres, or some falling victims of sexual violence as a result of having to temporarily stay in the homes of strangers for the period of the examinations.”
Mr Annan says his outfit decided to provide the fleet of 33-seater buses to convey over the 1,500 Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) candidates, in both private and public schools, from their homes to all the 2022 examination centres in the Effutu Municipality because there was a greater need to relieve both parents and candidates from the burden.
The buses have been stationed in all the zonal areas of the Effutu Municipality and have been picking up the children every day, from when the BECE started to when it will end.
This year’s BECE will run from October 17, to October 21, with a total of 552,276 candidates, made up of 276,988 males and 275,288 females, from 18,501 schools converging to write the examinations at 2,023 centres across Ghana.
In the Effutu Municipality, the organization revealed, it costs an average of ¢100 per candidate on transportation for the five-day period within which the examinations would be conducted.
Out of the number of candidates writing the exam, the Effutu Municipality is presenting 1,637 BECE candidates for this year 2022.
“This is the fifth year in a row that Challenging Heights has undertaken this project. The first being in the year 2017, to help mitigate the financial challenges parents face during the writing of the BECE.
“In the upcoming years, we hope to replicate this project in other Districts in the central region,” he said.
The President of Challenging Heights further stated that as the government takes steps to address the challenges in the education sector, they want parents and teachers to provide the needed support for candidates during the period of the examination, as this is necessary to ensure that the children have the strength and the morale to write the papers.
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