‘Sale of scratch cards to BECE/WASSCE candidates is exploitative’

Accra A research and advocacy policy think tank, CUTS Ghana, on Thursday said the sale of scratch cards to BECE/WASSCE candidates to access results online amounts to exploitation.

It, therefore, urged the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to scrap the scratch card requirement as it brought excess burden on students and parents.

A statement issued and signed by Mr Appiah Kusi Adomako, the Country Director of CUTS Ghana, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the West African Examination Council (WAEC) had already cut down cost by going electronic to publish results of candidates online.

In the past when candidates sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Senior Secondary Examination (WASSCE), the Examination body sent candidates’ result slips to their various schools. When WAEC decided to go online with its results in 2004, it then required candidates to pay to view their results.

By default, when a system moves from manual to electronic, the cost associated with it reduces, so there are no valid reasons to surcharge candidates. The Council saves a lot of money already for not printing results slips and having them sent to schools across the country by road, the statement said.

It noted that countries such as Kenya and Zambia who had gone electronic charged students no fee to access their results.

On Senior High School (SHS) Placement for BECE graduates, the statement said it could not understand why candidates had to incur cost to know which school they had been placed.

Government introduced the Computer School Placement System for admission into SHS to help alleviate the challenges that had bedeviled the previous system, one of which was cost.

With this new system a candidate had to know the school which he or she had been placed. In the past, the state was incurring more cost in placing candidate manually but with this computer-based placement, the cost has come down substantially.

Currently, WAEC and GES charge GHC5.00 per pupil or student before accessing results online and their school of placement, it said.

The statement, therefore, urged the Ministry and GES to ensure that WAEC adhered to international standards to minimise illegalities.

Source: Ghana News Agency