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Ministry, GES meet today over dismissed WASSCE candidates

The Ministry of Education will hold a meeting with the Ghana Education Service (GES) today to consider the directive by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to reconsider the dismissal and barring of 14 final-year students from writing the rest of their papers in the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo directed the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, to engage the GES on the issue because the errant students deserved a second chance.

Confirming the meeting with the GES yesterday, Dr Opoku Prempeh said: “I will meet with the GES tomorrow morning and take it from there,” he told the Daily Graphic.

The Director-General of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, confirmed that the minister had scheduled a meeting with him for this morning.
“Since this is a presidential request, our meeting will discuss all the issues and come up with the modalities to carry it out,” he said.

Students not affected

However, Daily Graphic sources within the ministry and the GES have indicated that the dismissed students will not be affected, since they will not miss any subject.

The sources explained that although the GES dismissed the students for indiscipline, it barred them from writing the papers in their schools and not entirely from sitting the examination.

The action meant that the examination body would arrange for them to take the papers from specially arranged locations.

Today, students majoring in Agricultural Science will write Crop Husbandry Practicals 3 and Animal Husbandry Practical 3, while Visual Arts students will be writing Sculpture.

Tomorrow’s papers will be for Home Economics, Visual Arts and Agricultural Science students, with subjects including Crop, and Animal Husbandry and General Knowledge in Arts (G.K.A).

Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Jewelry and General Agriculture papers will be written on Wednesday, August 12.

Second chance

President Akufo-Addo explained that although it was the intolerable acts of indiscipline by the 14 final-year students which led to their dismissal and other punitive measures, the students deserved a second chance.

A statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Office of the President, Mr Eugene Arhin, said the President believed that dismissal alone was enough punishment.

“Even though the acts of indiscipline undertaken by these students are intolerable acts, which have led to their subsequent dismissal from school, President Akufo-Addo is of the firm view that dismissal alone is enough punishment and will serve as enough deterrent against future acts of indiscipline,” the statement said.

It added that the President was of the view that everyone deserved a second chance in life, and was thus, hopeful that the students would be allowed by the GES to take their final examination as scheduled.

“Indeed, all other punishments imposed by the relevant authorities should remain in place,” the statement noted.

GES

Last Friday, the GES dismissed 14 senior high school (SHS) students from their respective schools and also barred them from writing their remaining papers over various acts of vandalism and acts of indiscipline at their respective examination centres.

After writing the Integrated Science paper, which they said was very difficult, some of the students vandalised school property, others were also seen in foul-mouthed tirade directed at high-profile personalities including President Akufo-Addo. Videos of their abuse have since gone viral on social media.
The students were from different schools.

Affected students

Five of the students are from Battor SHS; three students each from Sekondi College and Juaben SHS were also dismissed.

The School Prefect and two other students of Tweneboa Kodua SHS were also asked to pack out of the school compound.

The GES also directed the dismissed students to leave their respective compounds with immediate effect and all students in schools where properties were destroyed surcharged.

Their results are to be withheld until the students make full payment of the properties damaged.

Students in the above schools destroyed furniture, smashed bowls containing evening meals in the dining hall, attacked invigilators, journalists, demonstrated and issued threats to school authorities for being firm on invigilation during the exam.

Three teachers from Tweneboa Kodua SHS, Kade SHTS and Sekondi College have also been interdicted and barred from invigilating the WASSCE, pending investigations.

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