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Regional News of Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Source: Michael Oberteye, Contributor

Candidates in Lower Manya Krobo empowered with examination skills ahead of WASSCE

Facilitator and Lead IT Personnel, Eric Yaokumah Facilitator and Lead IT Personnel, Eric Yaokumah

Some 682 candidates of the Akuse Methodist Senior High School (AMEST) in the Eastern Region writing this year’s West African Senior High School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) have been oriented on examination skills and correct shading of objective questions ahead of this year’s examinations.

Nene Teye Adjiso III, Asafoatse of Menekpo in the Manya Krobo Traditional Area and a board member of the school as representative of the Manya Krobo Traditional Council who initiated the summit explained that findings from his role as a Consultant for the Ghana Education Service (GES) drove him to organize the event.

Facilitator and Lead IT Personnel, Eric Yaokumah who took the students through the presentation, cautioned them to avoid wetting, folding, perforating, or tearing the scannable sheets and stressed on the right shading of the answer spaces on the sheets.

The event became necessary following discoveries of costly errors in the examination papers by students which most times resulted in poor student performances.

Nene Teye Adjiso III said the examination organizers, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), expect the students to possess certain answering skills including correct shading and careful handling of the answer sheet to avoid losing precious marks in the examinations.

“This initiative is aimed at helping the students overcome some challenges that they encounter at exams hall but they do not know, they do not know because they are not where their papers are marked. They do not know because we’re focusing on the objective papers they shade, they take it for granted that at least, there is an answer so they shade anything,” he explained.

As a consultant for the GES, the traditional leader said the results of some brilliant students did not reflect in their overall performance in the examinations, a development which necessitated the analysis of the results to establish the cause.

“Sometimes, we analyze results to find outperformance and we realize that some students who are very good, complaints come that when results come, they are not reflecting on their performance so we decided to go in and find out why,” he noted.

The positive impact of the exercise on beneficiary schools, Nene Adjiso observed, made it imperative to extend it to other schools to ensure that their results improve.

He disclosed that comparisons between previous year groups and their predecessors who received the training showed a vast improvement in the results of the latter.

“We have data showing that all the schools where we have done this, there is an improvement. We compared the results before and after…we always see an improvement,” he said.

Though the training has been sustained in various schools over the past eleven years, AMEST was benefiting from the exercise for the very first time, an activity the headmaster expressed relief about.

Headmaster of the school, Mr. John Selby noted though this was the first time such an exercise was being done at the school, it will be repeated in the future to properly equip the students ahead of their examinations.

Mr. Selby who said the school is targeting an improvement in this year’s WASSCE over last year's was hopeful that the exercise would greatly boost this objective.

Aside from this seminar, the headmaster disclosed that other interventions to improve student performance including the extension of contact hours for the final year students were also increased and the introduction of mock examinations.

Some of the students who spoke in an interview shared their experiences.

Godfred Nii Ankrah, a General Arts student said, “I learnt that we should read the instructions very carefully before starting with the answering of the questions and we should take our time, we should not be in a haste.”

A science student, Tamakloe Rosemond Delali also said, “I learnt that when we’re shading, we’re not supposed to make holes because the machine rejects holes and then we’re not supposed to wet the scannable sheets so that the machine will not mark it for you and we’re supposed to shade in the rectangular boxes and there should be no ink on your answer sheet.”

Another said, “I learnt a lot today, some of the things I studied were we should do everything possible to protect the scannable sheets because in case of any foreign material be it ink, water, food particle or anything found falling on the scannable sheets, makes the machine to reject it.”

A trial test conducted for the students at the end of the training identified errors such as poor shading, inappropriate shading of index numbers, use of pens in writing on scannable forms, etc., among most students.

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