The Ghana Education Service (GES) says it is illegal for any head of a second cycle school to prevent any final-year student from writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for owing school fees.
It has, therefore, warned that any head who is reported to have prevented students from writing the WASSCE will be put before a disciplinary committee, and when found guilty he or she will be sanctioned accordingly.
The Director of the Secondary Education Division of the GES, Mr Michael Kofi Inkoom, said in an interview in Accra yesterday that, “All heads are instructed not to prevent any student who has registered with WAEC from writing the examination.”
The interview was prompted by consistent calls from aggrieved parents to the Daily Graphic on the position taken by some heads of second cycle schools on the payment of school fees by final-year students.
Mechanisms in place
Mr Inkoom said the GES was aware that some students owed school fees but that it had put in place mechanisms to ensure that the students paid their fees.
He explained that heads of second cycle schools had been instructed to compile the names of students who owed fees and send them to the Secondary Division of the GES for onward submission to WAEC to block the results of the affected students until they had finished paying their fees.
He said such students’ results would not be displayed online until the students proved with documentation that they had cleared their fees before WAEC could unblock their results.
Procedure to unblock
Giving the procedure for a blocked result to be unblocked, Mr Inkoom said the affected student needed to go to his or her former school to pay his or her school fees in full, after which the headmaster of that school would issue a letter, which the student would present to the GES, which would then instruct WAEC to unblock such a candidate’s result.
“This arrangement has been in place for the past three years and it has proved to be very effective. So if a student owes at the time of writing the exam, the head must allow him or her to write because he or she has already registered with WAEC,” he explained.
Pay by instalment
He advised heads of second cycle schools to negotiate with parents who were not able to pay their children’s fees at a go to consider paying in instalments.
Vandalisation of school property
In a related development, Mr Inkoom said information reaching the GES Headquarters had it that some final-year students had resorted to vandalising school property because they felt they had virtually completed school.
He explained that aside from the destruction of school property, some students were not prepared to abide by school rules and regulations.
He said currently two of such schools, one each in the Upper East and the Northern regions, had been closed down to prevent further destruction.
He warned that any student caught in that act would be handed over to the police and he or she would write his or her final exam while on suspension.