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General News of Thursday, 6 September 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Postpone SHS reopening date – GNAT urges government

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) is calling for an extension of the reopening date for Senior High Schools (SHSs).

General Secretary of GNAT, David Ofori Acheampong wants the government to consider a postponement proposal because it will give students and parents more time to prepare adequately.

According to him, the duration between the release of the results and school reopening is too short.

He also noted that internet infrastructure in Ghana is poor and may not be able to contain the pressure being exerted on it when thousands of first-year students check their placement online.

“We should have over the years developed the internet infrastructure to make internet accessibility very easy.

“And since we faced the same problems the previous year in accessing the placement on the internet, we should have envisaged these problems and push the reopening a bit forward instead of reopening all on the 11th of this month”, the GNAT Secretary indicated.

He was speaking on Adom FM’s Current Affairs show, Burning Issues Wednesday.

Mr. Akyeampong says the reopening extension would make things flexible for people in remote areas of the country to come to the urban centres to access their results..

Meanwhile, Vice Chair of Parliament’s Select Committee on Education, Johnson Kwaku Adu, speaking on the same show, supported GNAT’s call for an extension of the reopening date.

He has however urged parents not to panic with the system because measures are in place to resolve the challenges confronting the system.

He says the late release of the results is what has resulted in the rush but has assured parents that Parliament will closely monitor the entire process to ensure it goes ahead smoothly.

“Since the process begun, we have been monitoring things to report our observations to the minister for them to know how the system is moving,” he said.

The 2018 Basic Education Certificate Examination had a total of 509,827 registered students from over 16,060 schools across the country.

However, about 4,000 candidates were absent for the examination.

According to a press release signed by the Head of Public Affairs at the council, Mrs. Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, the results of over 2,061 candidates have been withheld pending the conclusion of investigations into various cases of examination malpractice detected during and after the conduct of the examination.

The Council further announced the 134 candidates had their subject results cancelled for bringing foreign material into the examination hall with their entire results of some 83 candidates cancelled for bringing mobile phones into the examination hall and receiving external assistance.

The 2018 statistics saw an increment in the total number of students which made the government introduce the double tracking system to absolve the excess.

Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, revealed at a sensitisation programme in July this year that government will introduce the double tracking system to close an enrollment gap of 181,99, adding that as it stands now only 90,000 spaces are available for the 2018 September intake.