A clarion call has gone to parents, guardians and school authorities to ensure that all candidates taking the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the country have gone through the developmental stage of nine years of basic education.
This is to ensure that they are adequately prepared and well developed before sitting the BECE to guarantee them placement in the various SHS and TVET institutions.
The President of the Foundation for Generational Thinkers (FOGET), Prosper Dan Afetsi, who made the call during an interaction with journalists in Accra, bemoaned the practice whereby some junior high school Form Two students of private schools, with the approval of their parents and also with the connivance of some headteachers of some public JHSs, got registered to take the examination with public school candidates.
He said the practice was not only intellectually inimical to the development of learners who were uprooted from the private schools, but also detrimental to the very survival of the private basic institutions which depended on fees paid by students to keep the schools running.
Mr Afetsi opined that many parents were compelling their children to take the BECE in public schools due to the widely held perception that candidates in the public schools were unduly favoured in their placement into Category ‘A’ schools through the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).
Shedding more light on his concerns, the FOGET President said when JHS Form Two students from private schools skipped Form Three to sit the BECE, they entered senior high school (SHS) with some challenges as they did not benefit from certain aspects of the syllabus critical to SHS work.
Mr Afetsi noted that in recent times, heads of some second cycle schools had expressed their disquiet about the enormous academic work SHS teachers had to do in order to get first-year students ready for serious academic work at the SHS level.
“Besides, the phenomenon whereby JHS two students jump the gun to SHS one creates an impression on the minds of the learners, who are the future leaders of the country, that they can cut corners or circumvent laid down procedures to get what they want in life,” he said.
Consequently, the management of the affected private schools, he said, were conjecturing how to get students for basic nine during the 2023/24 because of the extent to which the current basic eight classes had been heavily depleted.
He urged heads of public schools accepting to register unqualified students to desist from the practice since their actions were steadily crippling private schools, which were one of the key stakeholders in th delivery of basic education in the country.
Mr Afetsi urged the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the National Schools Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA) to step up their monitoring of basic schools in order to nip the aforementioned practice in the bud.