Stories from Isaac Akwetey-Okunor
In its quest to find a lasting solution to the abysmal performance during the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) by students in Larteh in the Okere District, ‘As I grow’ (AIG), a Larteh-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), has embarked on a project dubbed “My Career Campaign Project.”
The project, which is aimed at helping reduce the failure rate among Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS) candidates during their respective examinations, kicked off last Saturday at Larteh.
Some selected West African Examination Council (WAEC) examiners from various schools in the district were engaged to teach 169 prospective BECE candidates on how to answer examination questions in Mathematics, English Language, Social Studies, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Integrated Science.
Speaking to the paper, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NGO, Mr. Isaac Debrah Bekoe, stated that his outfit decided to embark on the campaign in an effort to decrease the rate at which students, especially those in rural communities, are not able to enter secondary schools.
The CEO, who is a professional teacher and has taught for almost 11 years in the area, said that, it saddens him as a tutor and native of Larteh to know that many of the students who sit for the BECE could not pass to the SHS.
According to him, the best grade ever produced by any BECE candidate in the area was aggregate 16 in the past three years, a situation that must worry any teacher and resident of the area.
To this, he decided to mobilise the WAEC examiners to take the students through how to answer examination questions, since most of the teachers at the basic schools are not examiners.
The ‘As I Grow’ boss disclosed that the abysmal performance among the students is, to a large extent, attributed to parental irresponsibility, and, therefore, called on all parents in the area to uphold their responsibilities.
He continued that most of the children are seen loitering around in the night, instead of studying, because they are often taken care of by their grandparents, a situation, he said, must be discouraged.
That notwithstanding, he took advantage of the occasion to encourage the children to be serious with their books irrespective of the fact that they are staying with their grandparents, since the tendency could lead to teenage pregnancy and school dropouts.
Buttressing the position of the CEO that the failure is due to parental irresponsibility, Alberta Gyebi, a student and beneficiary of the programme, called on parents to support teaching and learning.
She praised the leadership of the NGO for the timely intervention to bring examiners to teach the students how to answer questions during the examination.
To her, it would have been a disaster if the project had not been organised, since the basic tools for teaching, understanding and answering questions would go a long way to change the poor performance chart.
She, however, like Oliver Twist, called for more of such projects, at least thrice a term, to adequately prepare the candidates before the exams.