Over 30,000 private school pupils prevented from writing  2024 WASSCE

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 Members of the Union at the high table

My Mohamed J Kargbo

The National Union of Private Schools has on Monday, March 4th, expressed concern about the potential denial of access to the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for over 30,000 private school students.

The union was addressing journalists at the Dynamic International School on Wilkinson Road, where they expressed dissatisfaction with the new Continuous Assessment Scores for Students (CASS) system introduced by WAEC.

Rev. Victor O.M Davies, National Chair of the union, questioned the integrity of WAEC, emphasising that despite substantial payments being made by most schools, the closure of the online portal prevented over 30,000 eligible candidates from taking the exams.

He highlighted that other countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, and Liberia, which participate in the same exams, still have open portals, asserting that WAEC’s actions contradict the government’s policy of free quality education, including the radical inclusion policy.

The union criticised the introduction of the new CASS system in the current academic year, stating that students previously took the examinations before the results were out, and CASS could be uploaded afterward.

Rev. Davies mentioned that WAEC provided only two hours of training for some school heads regarding the new CASS system, deeming it insufficient for a smooth transition.

He pointed out that the training should have been spanned three months, especially considering that some school heads are not technologically inclined, requiring the hiring of IT specialists to handle the process.

Rev. Davies highlighted that WAEC used a device called Firewalls, blocking the uploading of CASS unless specialists bypassed it, leading to some schools being unable to enter their CASS.

He alleged that despite efforts by the union, including engaging the Ministry of Education, the portal was only opened for two weeks in November of the previous year. The union has taken the matter to the Parliamentary Committee for Basic Education, urging citizens and authorities to investigate and address the issues promptly.

The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Union, Jeremiah Ngebanda, alleged that WAEC’s actions aimed to encourage more candidates to opt for the private WASSCE, causing significant challenges for affected schools to rectify their registration status.

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