As mediation efforts continue in conflict-ravaged Chereponi in the North East region, it has emerged that some pupils in there are the hardest hit by the violence.
It’s 14 days to the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) and authorities are racing against time to get the candidates prepared for the nationwide exam.
The pupils have lost more than a month of contact hours and as the day to the crucial first exams for the young people approaches, schools have shut down due to renewed clashes.
A teacher at the Chereponi Evangelical Presbyterian Junior High school and a native of the area, Masoma Aziz Awuffor, told Joy News’ Gifty Andoh Appiah that, their mock exams were affected by the conflict so pupils have not adequately prepared to sit for the exam.
“When we reopened in January this year, we lost four weeks because we could not get to teach them because of a conflict. The DCE in consultation with others agreed that we need to stay back for extra classes during the vacation period to cover for the lost time.
“Because of the limited number of teachers, we decided to have a cluster form of teaching across the four centres of the district. The third week we were to have the mock was when the conflict erupted.
He is dreading the worst as the pupils are not adequately prepared to go through with the exam that is some two weeks away.
Several teachers have left the town but one of them who is still braving the odds is headteacher, Samuel B.K Agyare, who is also Chereponi district chairman for the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT).
He says both teachers and pupils are traumatised.
“The BECE performance we have here, I don’t think it is the best due to the inadequate number of teaching staff. If they get the teachers and teaching and learning materials it will improve their knowledge,” he said.
The school prefect, Rahinatu Alhassan, who earlier fled the town but later returned because of the exam, told the reporter that she left on April 19, because it was no longer safe to stay in Chereponi.
“Sadly, our days were numbered for the BECE so I had to come back to prepare together and write the exam. To be honest we are not that prepared as the school was mostly not in session.
“Those behind the conflict pick [strike during] periods that we were ready to learn and do something with their lives. We were ready to write our first mock and they attacked,” she decried the developments.
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