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Regional News of Tuesday, 8 May 2018


Nabdam MP to 'accompany' BECE candidates into exam hall

Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane, MP for Nabdam with the customized mathematical set

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nabdam, Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane, has customised 800 sets of mathematical instruments and same number of exercise books with his portrait as his donations to some 709 candidates registered in his constituency for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

The 709 pupils are among the 21, 140 examinees enrolled in the Upper East region for the examination scheduled to start on Monday June 4 and end on Friday June 8.

Delivering the items Monday to the Nabdam District Education Directorate at Kongo, the MP explained he branded the stationery as a strategy to put the candidates in the pathway to success by psychologically accompanying them into their various examination halls throughout the exams week to boost their confidence.

“It is branded with the Ghana colours and, of course, my picture, reminding them (the candidates) that the MP is giving them his total support. I want them to know that they have my prayers, I’m there for them and the whole Nabdam is behind them,” the legislator said.

The district, despite the evil duo of child labour in illegal mining and teenage pregnancies reported to have plagued many of its schools, performed better at the BECE in 2017 than it did in 2016, according to the directorate. But it declined strongly Monday to furnish data-seeking journalists with figures to back its claims.

“We don’t give out figures like that. We don’t give out figures like that,” repeatedly replied the same directorate who, barely a minute earlier, enthusiastically had disclosed to newsmen the figures of BECE candidates it had registered.

Dr. Nawaane was optimistic the support offered the candidates, together with the brand, would be a difference maker. If his donation changes the game as he envisages, it would be totally unlike the outcome of a similar donation a politician once made to some basic schools in the region. He shared free writing materials embossed with his picture in high hopes of seeing improved performance later. The candidates failed so ‘thoroughly’ the prospect of a resit was a nightmare in that district.

Candidates to use Gh¢6,200 for Mock Examination

Aside from the stationery donation, the MP also presented two sets of jerseys and a football to the sports unit of the directorate as well as an amount of Gh¢6,200 which he said should be used to organise a mock examination for the BECE candidates.

“For the mocks, I’m donating Gh¢6,200 from my GETFund of 2017. We hope that this will help the Ghana Education Service to conduct whatever exams that they need to conduct for our BECE students to get them prepared very well for the exams,” Dr. Nawaane told a gathering at the donation ceremony.

This is not the first time the lawmaker, who drilled 13 boreholes for his constituency a few months ago, sponsored hernia operations for some constituents this year and gave financial support to 250 second-cycle and tertiary students last year, is dishing out free writing materials and cash for mock examinations in his area.

In 2016, he handed out mathematical sets to basic final-year pupils and Gh¢3,000 for practice examination. Last year, he presented mathematical sets again and an amount of Gh¢5,000 to the directorate to prepare the candidates.

“The ceiling was rotten, some were dropping” — GES Director

In a word of appreciation delivered on behalf of the GES, the acting Nabdam District Director of Education, Stephanie Mosore, said the support rendered by the MP would help curb incidents of examination malpractice at BECE centres.

“Sometimes, in trying to curtail exam malpractices, we want each child to have their own property. So, you have your maths set; you are not going to beg from anybody. So, there won’t be that type of talk that would make supervision for the invigilator difficult,” the director remarked.

She also was thankful to the MP for renovating an ‘abandoned’ Community Information Centre (CIC) building for staff of the directorate, who had spent years inside an extremely deplorable improvised office structure, to use.

“When the office is not conducive, you don’t feel like coming to work. And when you don’t feel like coming to work, then it’s not an office; so, you can’t give your best. All coordinators are in one room. Our registry, we cannot keep proper files. A lot of them have their office under the tree.

“The windows are closed. Poor ventilation. Lighting system equally poor. I had a chat with him about three weeks ago and took him over. The ceiling was rotten, some were dropping,” commented Mrs. Mosore, who is also the substantive Director of Education for the nearby Talensi District.

But she added: “Within that week, he got people to work on it. Currently, the place is okay. The entire GES, we are grateful that at least we would have a place called an office. At least, by Friday we should move to the new office.”