The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has “put on hold” the 2020 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
This follows the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ghana.
A statement signed by the Head of Public Affairs WAEC, Agnes Teye-Cudjoe said that “this is in line with the protocols put in place by governments of WAEC member countries to prevent the spread of the virus”.
“A new timetable for the conduct of the examination will be designed and made available to all stakeholders when the health situation improves,” the statement added.
The WASSCE 2020 timetable has also been suspended until further notice.
According to an internal memo sighted by citinewsroom.com, the Council says the conduct of WASSCE 2020 has also been put on hold and will be reviewed when the pandemic is put under control.
Shut down of schools
President Akufo-Addo, as part of efforts to avoid public gatherings and enhance social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus directed all schools to shut down effective Monday, March 16, 2020, until further notice.
“All Universities, Senior High Schools, and basic schools, i.e. public and private schools, will be closed Monday, 16th March, 2020, till further notice. The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication, has been tasked to roll out distance learning programmes. However, BECE and WASSCE candidates will be allowed to attend school to prepare for their examinations, but with prescribed social distancing protocols,” he said.
Teachers appeal for suspension of WASSCE, BECE
On the back of this, a coalition of pre-tertiary teacher unions called for the rescheduling of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the WASSCE because of the pandemic.
The WASSCE was scheduled to begin on March 30, 2020, and end on June 1, 2020, and BECE is supposed to start on June 15, 2020, and end on June 19, 2020.
The Executive Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers, Thomas Musah, speaking on behalf of the coalition said the average students and teachers faced too much risk on daily commutes to school, among others.
The President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu, also noted that it will be prudent if the final year students of Junior and Senior High Schools go home, saying that the current fear surrounding the pandemic does not create a favourable environment for teaching and learning.
The coalition comprised of the Ghana National Association of Teachers, National Association of Graduate Teachers, Coalition of Concerned Teachers and the Teacher and Education Workers Union.
Latest cases in Ghana
Ghana recorded five more cases on Friday, March 20, 2020, making a total of 16.
Details from the Ghana Health Service’s website dedicated to updating Ghanaians on COVID-19 cases confirmed the latest development.
The five new cases are all in the Greater Accra Region.
The latest update confirms fears community spreading has begun in Ghana.
Details of the cases published on the website noted that three of the patients have no travel history.
- A 29-year-old Ghanaian lady, resident of Accra, no history of travel, sample confirmed positive in the laboratory.
- A 34-year-old Ghanaian lady, resident of Accra, contact of a confirmed case at place of work, sample confirmed positive in the laboratory.
- A 53-year-old Ghanaian male, resident of Tema, no history of travel, no evidence of close contact with confirmed case, sample confirmed positive in the laboratory.