268,771 final-year students to write WASSCE

A total of 268,771 final-year senior high school (SHS) student candidates will write this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) from Monday next week.
The figure represents an increase of 20,603 candidates over the 2014 figure of 242,162 candidates.

The candidates writing the 2015 WASSCE are from 868 public and private second cycle schools. They will be writing the examination at 866 centres.

Statistics of the 2015 WASSCE made available to the Daily Graphic indicates that 139,843 males will sit the examination as against 128,928 females.

Ashanti Region has the highest number of candidates of 62,472, comprising 31,701 males and 30,771 females.
Following the Ashanti Region is the Eastern Region with 39,821 candidates, made up of 19,814 males and 20,007 females.

The Central Region has the third largest number of candidates of 28,312, with 14,530 males and 13,782 females.

Closely following that region is the Greater Accra Region with 28,000 candidates (13,884 males and 14,116 females).
Brong Ahafo Region has 26,675 candidates (14,055 males and 12,620 females).

Volta Region has 22,980 candidates made up of 12,505 males and 10,475 females.

A total of 23,324 candidates, 14,053 males and 9,271 females, are writing in the Northern Region.

The Upper East Region has 11,572 candidates; 6,101 males and 5,471 females.

The region with the least number of candidates is the Upper West Region with 3,999 males and 3,061 females.
The WASSCE will be written in Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.

Last year, candidates from Liberia and Sierra Leone did not take part in the examination because of the ebola disease.
The examinations begin with Integrated Science on Monday, March 30, 2015.

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) had to revise the timetable of the examination because of the elections in Nigeria.


Source: Graphic Online

GES Orders Schools To Charge Second Term Fees Only

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has directed heads of second cycle institutions to ensure that final year students pay only the second term school fees now.

The final year students are to be allowed to attend classes unimpeded and without harassment from the school authorities.

“Heads of Senior High Schools should note this directive and comply accordingly,” a statement signed by the acting Director-General of the GES, Mr Jacob A.M. Kor, stated, urging metropolitan, municipal, district and regional directors to ensure strict compliance with the directive.

The directive followed reports that some headmasters of senior high schools are demanding that final year students pay both the second and third term fees together before the end of the second term.

The statement said the attention of the management of the GES had been drawn to a notice issued by some heads of SHSs to parents and guardians of final year students to pay both the second and third term fees at a go before their wards and children could write the 2015 West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

“The Ghana Education Service reminds all heads of senior high schools that under no circumstance should parents or guardians of final year students be made to pay consolidated school fees comprising both second and third term fees for the 2014/2015 academic year. “This practice is against the guidelines for the payment of fees which states that parents are to pay term fees only,” the statement said.

It, however, reminded parents, guardians and students that “school fees must be settled before the end of each school term. In the case of final year students, their fees must be paid in full before they finish the 2015 West African Secondary School Certificate Examinations.

Source: Daily Graphic

Teachers Told Not To Accept Verbal Transfers

Madam Helina Awurusah, National Gender Coordinator for the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has told teachers in the Upper West Region, not to accept verbal transfers because they are illegal.

Speaking during the International Women’s Day celebrations in Wa, Madam Awurusah noted that verbal transfers were not official, and should not be accepted by any teacher no matter the status of the one issuing it.

“Transfers must come in written form clearly stating all the reasons for the transfer, and it is for purposes of documentation and change of particulars of the one involved, from the former school to the present school,” she pointed out.

The National Gender Coordinator of GNAT, therefore, appealed to teachers to endeavour to report any director who victimized them for refusing to accept a transfer that was done verbally.

Globally, the day is being celebrated under the theme: “Make it Happen,” but here in Ghana it is being celebrated under the sub theme: “Gender Democracy is Union Democracy: Strength and Unity.”

Madam Awurusah noted that 2015 was an auspicious year for the International Women Day celebration, as it marked the 20th Anniversary of the Beijin Declaration and Platform for Action, the most advanced document on women’s rights and empowerment ever signed by world leaders.

She said the 189-member United Nations (UNs) who unanimously took this bold step at the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 outlined critical areas of concern and concrete actions that governments, UN institutions and civil society must take if humanity was to become truly equal.

Acknowledging critical achievements of such objectives so far, Madam Awurusah said over the last 20 years, the global gender gap in education had become narrower, and some countries have reached parity in school enrolment; the number of women dying in child birth had almost halved and in 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 percent of the seats in national parliaments in at least one chamber.

She said the 2014 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report highlighted the serious challenges that still remained, including the fact that 60 percent of the 781 million adults and 126 million youth worldwide who lacked basic literacy skills were women and girls.

“Although poverty rates were halved between 1990 and 2010, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty today,” she said.

“Poor women’s work subsidises the global economy with nine trillion US dollars annually”, she added.

She said because education was a human right in itself and an enabling right that transforms lives, education unions work to advance the right of women and girls.

Madam Awurusah, therefore, urged Education International (EI) member organisations to renew their efforts this year to enable the Beijin Platform for Action to become a reality for women and girls, boys and men.

Mr. Le-Roy Levi Mc Nara, Upper West Regional GNAT Secretary, noted that the practice whereby people reduce their age in order not to go on pension early was an indication that the pension scheme was not attractive enough for workers reaching the age of retirement.

He said a transformed pension scheme would attract people to become more than willing to retire when they reach the retirement age and called on government not to interfere with the management of the pension scheme which he said should be privately managed.

On the issue of transfers, Mr. Mc Nara noted that transfer was a management tool to improve on performance in the education sector, noting however that in the Upper West Region the issue of transfer was rather becoming more like a punishment.

This practice, he pointed out, demoralizes teachers and appealed to District and Regional Education Directors to desist from using transfer as a form of punishment for teachers.

The Upper West Regional GNAT Secretary also underscored the need to pay teachers handling a class of more than 80 children some allowances, to motivate them to do so effectively.

Mr. Mc Nara in justifying his statement noted that a class of 80 children was supposed to be managed by two teachers, and that in circumstances where there were no teachers and one teacher had to manage the class, then the teacher should be paid some motivational allowance.

Source: GNA

Flogging Chief In Court

The chief of Nakpanzoo, Abdul Rahman, has been issued with criminal summons by a Tamale district magistrate court, presided over by Augustine Essah, to appear before it on March 25, 2015.

He is facing charges of assault and causing harm for allegedly flogging the head teacher of the Lamasheugu Methodist Primary School, Adam Abudu, publicly.

The chief was reported to have gone to the school in the company of some heavily-built thugs to beat up the head teacher for turning down an invitation to appear before him (chief) at the Nakpanzoo palace.

Chief Abdul Rahman it was gathered, was demanding preferential treatment in the payment of Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) levy which had been unanimously agreed upon by parents at the last PTA meeting.

He therefore, summoned the head teacher to his place to compel him to reduce the levy so that he could pay or a number of his wards at the school.

Mr Adam Abudu purportedly did not honour the invitation, indicating that the issue at hand was purely an administrative one and that the levy in question had been duly agreed upon by parents who attended the last PTA meeting.

Feeling insulted over the conduct of Adam Abudu, the chief allegedly massed up his guards and stormed the school where he reportedly whipped the head teacher severely with the assistance of his guards.

When he was finally done, he told the other teachers that it was to serve as a deterrent to them not to dare show gross disrespect to him, should they be summoned before him at the palace.

The matter was later reported to the Tamale police who invited the chief for interrogation but midway, he abandoned the process and returned to the school to threaten the head teacher with more beatings in the coming days.

Northern Regional Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), ASP Ebenezer Tetteh, who earlier confirmed the incident to DAILY GUIDE, disclosed that criminal summons had been issued by the court for the arrest of the chief since his conduct smacks of criminality.

Teachers of the Methodist Primary however, maintained that their safety could not be guaranteed in view of the conduct of the chief and his subjects and had called for police protection.

ASP Tetteh told DAILY GUIDE that the police administration was seriously looking into the concerns of the teachers to ensure that they go about their duty without challenges.

Source: Daily Guide

Religious coercion will not be tolerated in schools- Education Minister

Education Minister Prof Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang has given a clear indication that she will not tolerate any acts of religious coercion in the educational institutions.

Speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show Monday, the Minister said the school is a place to build tolerance as well as respect for diversity and any attempt to subvert such values will be dealt with severely.

Her comments follow reports that some students in the second cycle institutions, especially Moslems, are forced by heads of institutions, mostly Christian ones, to attend church services, against their will and their religion.

Only recently, Moslem ladies were also asked to remove their hijabs before they would be allowed to take passport pictures for their examinations.

The Muslim community perceives these orders as an affront to their religion.

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