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Sanctions meted out to WASSCE candidates harsh – Ablakwa

Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says the Ghana Education Service (GES) sanction of some 14 Senior High School students who were involved in acts of indiscipline and vandalism during the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) is harsh and could be counterproductive.

The GES in a statement on August 7, 2020, dismissed 14 students for acts of indiscipline in the 2020 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

The affected students are from the Battor Senior High School, Sekondi College, Juaben Senior High School and Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School.

The 14 students have been dismissed and barred from writing their remaining papers in the exams.

Ablakwa who is a former Deputy Minister of Education said the GES’ decision to resort to “arbitrary punishment” will not tackle the fundamental cause of the students’ actions.

He took to Facebook and wrote: “To be succinct: the GES sanctions meted out to the named SHS students are harsh, high-handed, whimsical and could prove counterproductive.

I am one of many who have already condemned the misconduct of the WASSCE candidates which we saw in viral videos on social media.

However, if there must be punishment, although I take the view that their apologies could have been considered – I have always subscribed to punishment that reforms and not punishment that destroys.

The offending students could be made to sign a bond of good behaviour, allowed to complete the final examinations after which the release of their results may be delayed until surcharging and counselling obligations have been carried out. We do not have to destroy the future of these teenagers.

While pursuing the reformative punishment I propose, it is absolutely essential that independent investigations are conducted into the circumstances that led to the rather strange expectations and conditions that have brought us to this embarrassing juncture. In other words – who told the students to expect a particular set of questions? Who assured them of weak and compromised invigilation? Why did some teachers gang up with students to attack WAEC officials? Why does it appear that students were simply not prepared for the WASSCE, what went wrong?

These are fundamental issues for which we must seek urgent answers and for which arbitrary destructive punishment does not address.”

A statement from the Ghana Education Service revealed that the affected students have been barred from writing their remaining papers.

Some Senior High School students have been protesting what they call tight security and supervision of the ongoing West African Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

While students of the Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School and Juaben Senior High School threatened to boycott their exams because they thought supervisors were ‘too strict’ during the supervision of their first paper, Bright Senior High School students at Kukurantumi attacked some invigilators after allegedly being incited by their proprietor.

Students who were in schools where the destruction of school property occurred are to be surcharged for the full cost of the damage.

According to GES, the results of these students will be withheld until they have fully paid up the full cost of items destroyed.

Below are the affected students

Nicholas Cobbinah` – Sekondi College
Kardimell Suapim- Sekondi College
John Kwofie- Sekondi College
Simon Ameyibor (Senior Prefect) – Tweneboah Koduah SHS
Thomas Anokye – Tweneboah Koduah SHS
Juliet Amoakowaa – Tweneboah Koduah SHS
Emmanuel Ashiangmor – Battor SHS
Peter Sissi – Battor SHS
Ameka Nyamiitse – Battor SHS
Shadrack Daitey – Battor SHS
Alfred Attiso – Battor SHS
Solomon Brako – Juaben SHS
Albert Agyekum – Juaben SHS
Robert Inkoom – Juaben SHS

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