Yesterday, over five hundred thousand kids began sitting for the the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), the first in a five-day programme.
It is instructive that there has been a phenomenal increase in the number of candidates taking the examination relative to last year. This, coming on the heels of the commencement of the free SHS, speaks volumes about the confidence parents and wards alike have in a post JHS education bereft of fees.
On the other hand, however, it points at an increase in the funds government would pump into the free SHS programme, the subscription for which has grown exponentially.
While we wish the kids good luck in this examination, we expect that they would take seriously the many admonitions about not cheating.
It is also our hope that the bad teachers who in previous times did not help the kids by introducing them to examination shortcuts or cheating, for that matter, would no longer find the pastime worthy of repeating.
Being their first public examination with many more ahead in their academic pursuits, the need for them to learn the ropes of such tests by being real and shunning cheating cannot be marginalized. When at the end of the examination we do not read about any event which can mar the integrity of the tests, we can pat each other on the back for an uneventful exercise.
Parents should compel their kid candidates to rest adequately so that they can turn up fired up for the day’s examination. They should be encouraged to enjoy examinations and not fear it. This way, they would shun so-called leaked papers.
This is the time when head teachers should watch the movement of their teachers. This is the time some of them, the bad ones, introduce the children to cheating in examination. Any teacher found to be engaging in such deviant conduct should be exposed and shamed.
We have noted also unsurprisingly, the noise being made by the NDC about the use of a segment of our oil revenues to support the free SHS project.
It is not that they do not appreciate the importance of education but then they would have rather wished they were those implementing the programme.
They had a very good opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the footprints of local history by rolling out life-changing programmes. They did not and rather engaged in self-aggrandizing initiatives which enriched only a few party apparatchiks.
Considering the percentage increase in the number of kids taking the BECE, sending so much oil revenue into the implementation of the free SHS is not only sensible but desirable. After all, the funds are not going to be used for phantom projects. No amount is too much for education.
Had the NDC done well with their stewardship by investing in infrastructure, the President Akufo-Addo-led administration would have been tackling other schedules of equal importance. Saddled at this time with the poor road network in Accra and how to reactivate the non-functioning railway system, suggests poor performance on the part of those who managed the country the longest.