Editorial: Keeping BECE Candidates In Suspense Should Not Happen Again

As the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the government trade accusations and counter accusations over the release of funds for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has told his colleagues in Parliament that an amount of GH¢80 million has been released by the Finance Ministry for the conduct of the exams.

But a Graphic Online report says WAEC has received only GH¢47.125 million from the government, contrary to the GH¢80 million announced in Parliament by Frank Annoh-Dompreh. Even the said GH¢47.125 million is yet to officially hit the account of the examination body.

Prior to this latest development, uncertainty was hanging over the conduct of the 2024 Basic Education Certificate Examination, as GH¢95.83 million needed to organise the examination had not been released by the government.

However, as we are being told, WAEC has now received GH¢47.125 million out of GH¢95.83 million required to successfully facilitate the exams. The examination is scheduled to commence early next month.

Though the release of the GH¢47.125 million to WAEC is a commendable step taken by government, the positive development is marred by the prolonged uncertainty and psychological stress inflicted on students, parents and educators. This is due to the government’s delay in responding to WAEC’s financial needs.

Also, the psychological stress of potentially having their exams postponed or canceled is not to be underestimated. This stress affects not only their academic performance, but also the overall well-being of students. This is the reason why government should not delay in future when it comes to release of funds for the final exams.

Although, Mr. John Kapi, the Head of Public Relations at WAEC, had earlier expressed fears that the examination might not proceed if the funds were not released promptly, we believe the latest release should help alleviate that fear.

In our view, education, a cornerstone of national development should never be left at the mercy of financial uncertainties, as the country has just experienced. It is essential that the government prioritises timely and adequate funding for educational institutions and programs.

The late release of funds will surely have practical implications beyond psychological stress, as WAEC may have to resort to expensive airlifting of examination materials. This situation is unsustainable and underscores the need for proactive financial planning and management.

As we indicated earlier, the government must learn from this experience and take concrete steps to prevent such crises in the future. Ensuring that WAEC and other educational bodies receive timely and sufficient funding should be a non-negotiable priority. This requires not only prompt action when issues arise, but also a robust financial management system that anticipates and addresses potential problems before they escalate.

Additionally, transparent communication is crucial. The discrepancy between the announced GH¢80 million and the actual GH¢47.125 million received by WAEC needs clarification. Transparent and accurate communication builds trust and ensures that all stakeholders are well-informed.

Moving forward, the government must prioritise education funding and implement reforms to ensure that such delays do not occur again. The future of our students and the integrity of our educational system depend on it.


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