WASSCE to move from February to May/June
The Ministry of Education has agreed with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to move the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) from February to May/June.
This, according to the sector minister Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, will help students and teachers complete the nine-term secondary school syllabus before the final exam starts.
Dr Prempeh said this at the Meet The Press series in Accra on Thursday, 30 November 2017.
Explaining why SHS students who completed school in four years under the era of former president John Agyekum Kufuor did better than those who completed schooling in three years, Dr Prempeh said: “The SSS syllabus is for nine terms, three terms in a year…so we envisage that by the time the child has finished with the nine terms, he or she will be ready to take the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
“But over the years [the students] lost the first term. If last year they went in December, it was just a few weeks till school closed so they lost the first term. The WASSCE starts in February which is the second term and finishes just the first week of the third term. This year, the students spent only five days in the second term in school. So it means the whole of the second term, they lost teaching and learning to exams and they never had teaching and learning for the third term making that three terms out of the nine wasted.
“So, it was six terms they were using for teaching and learning for a syllabus that said nine terms. No wonder the results were poor because when we had four years, it really just meant that we completed nine terms in the four years with effective teaching and learning.
“So we believe that if we can make sure that the nine terms are filled with teaching and learning, we can improve the learning outcome that we’re having and that is what we are hoping to do. So this year, we have agreed with WAEC that we don’t want ‘you to start the exams in February, we want you to go back to when we all did our O and A levels which was May/June. So this year, we hope that WAEC will start exams sometime in May with practicals and orals and the written exams will start in June so that we would have covered the nine terms before the students start [the exams]”.