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Opinions of Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Columnist: Daily Guide

Secure the papers

Another session of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) is due. Children in their last year in junior high schools are being assessed in their maiden public examinations over a period spanning a little over a week.

Parents, teachers and other stakeholders are apprehensive over whether this year’s chapter would be spared the embarrassing leakages of examination papers which appear to have become a feature of public examination in recent times in the country.

We recall what befell the examination two years ago and how the children had to wait for rescheduled dates for papers which were cancelled.

We appeal to all those who have a hand in ensuring the integrity of the examination not to sit on the fence but to contribute towards protecting it from bad elements who find nothing wrong with making money by all means.

We have learnt about the extra efforts put in to achieve the aforementioned goal and pray it works.

Children must not under any circumstances be introduced to shortcuts in academic work such as giving them access to advance copies of examination papers. This tendency in their formative years is counterproductive: they would soon get used to leaked papers, without which they would be rendered useless.

The headlines which the jaundiced examination of two years ago attracted did not inure to the image of the country in the international community of academic assessors.

We do not have to belabour the importance of ensuring that children are brought up in consonance with the values of honesty and integrity. What society would we be building when we introduce our children to examination thievery? Children who grow up under the regime of leaked examination papers would not live up to the expectation of society: they would become dishonest and so weak academically that tertiary education would become so difficult for them. Such pupils would realise when it is too late that they had rather not engaged in examination dishonesty.

Have those who engage in such anomalous activities any conscience at all? If they have, exposing children to examination thievery would not have been their lot.

Let us appreciate the fact that studies are not undertaken because of examinations but for the purpose of knowledge for future academic development. Examinations are the only means of determining our grasp of the relevant subjects and for the purpose of grading us. This way, we can advance to the next stages of our studies.

Imagine leaking all papers to children until they get to the tertiary level. They would have lost the foundation necessary for them to undertake tertiary academic work. They would be denied the building blocks upon which to place further blocks.

Those who encourage or even partake in the sale or distribution of examination papers to candidates, especially those at the JHS level, are destroying our future and must be stopped in their heels.

We cannot afford another examination leakage; we should spare the kids the inconvenience of re-writing. We wish the candidates Godspeed.