Nicolinn writes: Ungrateful Free SHS students and 2020 WASSCE trauma

The author, Nicolinn Kwaw is a Level 200 LLB student at the University of Professional Studies, Accra

Education plays a major role in our lives today. This is because should a person be less educated, society will see him as a threat to its shared future. Solomon Ortiz was right when he said: “Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.”

I believe we should all welcome new knowledge since it can open up career opportunities to individuals and make them successful.

Gracious enough, the Government of Ghana has lessened the challenges in the education system bothering on fees especially at the senior high level by making it free for students. The free senior high school (Free SHS) educational policy in Ghana is an initiative of the current government introduced in September 2017.

But the question that we need to ask ourselves is: Was it wrong for the government to make provision for the future of our children, brothers and sisters?

The 1992 Constitution of Ghana in Article 25(1) states that: “all persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities and with a view to achieving the full realization of that right.”

Instead of lauding the policy introduced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akfuo-Addo, one wakes up to acts of ungratefulness coming from citizens and now students who benefited from the programme.

The recent acts of vandalism carried out by some senior high students leading to the destruction of school properties and attack on external invigilators over strict invigilation are disheartening.

What is worrying is the insults directed at the President by these students which exposes the manner they were trained in school. This clearly shows a lack of morality.

Come to think of it, the act of students paying their way into getting question papers in the on-going West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) is not a new thing. The act has so many names. It is referred to as “Apor” or “Laga.” But relying on the “Apor” or “Laga” solely is another issue entirely. Considering that they have been studying for the past three years, is the over-reliance on “Apor” or “Laga” the best way for these students?

Such absurdity!!

This incident has proven that the students lack the basic understanding of what past questions are meant for. They need to know that being provided with past questions (PASCO) did not mean one will have an easy pass. In fact, the collection of past questions is a mere guide which is to prepare them for their final exams.

Discipline is one thing that must be taken seriously in all our schools and if it had, these students would not have gone on a rampage as they did. Their conducts are uncouth and unwelcome in our society.

The Director-General of Ghana Education Service (GES) has described the acts exhibited by the students as appalling. He further went on to say that “any students found to have misconducted themselves in any of the undisciplined acts shall be deboardenised and be allowed to commute from home to write the examination papers under parental control.”

The GES must insist on discipline in all the schools under its jurisdiction. Section 8 (1) and (2) of the West African Examinations Council Act 2006, (Act 719) states that:

“(1) A person who before, during or after an examination conducted on behalf of the Council assaults an invigilator, supervisor, inspector, an officer authorized by the Councillor another candidate, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than one hundred penalty units and not more than two hundred penalty units or to imprisonment for a term of not more than eighteen months or to both.

(2) The Council shall cancel the entire results of the candidate and prohibit the candidate from taking an examination conducted by or on behalf of the Council for a period of not less than two years immediately after the commission of the offence.”

I would like to encourage school authorities to endeavour to uphold discipline among their students in order to secure the future of our nation.

On this note, please let us continue to stay safe since the Covid-19, the novel pandemic is still with us.

Be rightly informed. Let’s do well to observe all protocols although churches, Pubs just to mention a few are now operating.

Wash your hands with soap under running water for at least 20 seconds.

Cover your face with your nose mask.

Sanitize your hands frequently.

Avoid shaking hands.

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About Author

Nicolinn Kwaw

Bachelor of Laws

Level 200

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