Story: Benjamin Makafui Attipoe, Ave Dakpa
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Akatsi North in the Volta Region, Hon. Simon Peter Ofosu has reminded candidates in this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) that success in Life does not solely lie in the score they receive but the lessons learnt, values they uphold and the positive impact they make on the world around them.
Hon. Ofosu was speaking at this year’s district examination forum for final-year students at Ave Dakpa, the district capital.
The annual examination forum for all final year BECE and WASSCE students was organised by the Generational Thinkers of Ave Dakpa (GTAD), an educational Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in the district in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and other stakeholders of education in the sector.
The forum brought together more than one hundred (100) students from the Ave Senior High School (AVESCO) at Ave Dakpa and almost five Hundred (500) pupils from thirty-one (31) basic schools across the district.
It was aimed, among other things, at charting ways of improving educational outcomes, particularly the performance of pupils and students at the BECE and WASSCE levels in the Akatsi North district, which has not been encouraging in recent times.
About six (6) speakers took the final year students through topics such as advanced and final preparations for the examination, psyching students’ minds towards writing examinations very well, the exam rules and regulations, answering examination questions satisfactorily, effective time management, appropriate behaviours after each paper as well as positive lifestyles before and after school including possible temporal employment opportunities available amongst others.
The facilitators included the Assistant Headmaster in charge of Administration at AVESCO, Mr. Sebastian G. Kumahor, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, College of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Professor Johannes A. M. Awudza, a retired educationist and Chief Examiner of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Mr. Newman Kpogo as well as the General Secretary of the Ave Development Union (AVEDU), Mr. Clement Collins Ahiagbede.
Speaking at the event, Hon. Simon Peter Ofosu jogged the candidates’ memory of their responsibilities towards the examination and their life in general. According to him, education is a lifelong journey adding that examinations are just one stepping stone toward a bright future.
‘Preparations are not merely about accumulating knowledge; it is about embracing the challenges that lie ahead with confidence and determination’, the DCE emphasized.
The DCE also called on the BECE candidates to work harder to excel in the examination to take advantage of and benefit from the free Senior High School (SHS) programme.
He warned the BECE and WASSCE candidates to steer clear of exam malpractice and all forms of unlawful activities leading to poor academic performance and the destruction of their lives.
Hon. Ofosu explained that his caution could nudge their behaviours onto a more sustainable path. He hoped that their excellent performance in the forthcoming examination would fulfill their dreams of becoming a teacher, doctor, nurse, journalist, police, soldier, or any career of their choice.
A Senior Lecturer at the College of Science, Department of Chemistry at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Professor Johannes Awudza stressed the need for discipline among students and advocated for the effective allocation of resources to schools to improve educational outcomes.
In his view, the kind of student indiscipline that currently bedevils schools across the country leaves much to be desired, lamenting that the canker is a contributing factor to the present abysmal performance of students and pupils in examinations. He called for a paradigm shift in the development, urging all stakeholders including parents and teachers to effectively collaborate to stem the unfortunate practice.
Professor Awudza also lamented about the inequality in the allocation of resources to schools across the country, saying the situation is not good enough because endowed schools continue to receive a good amount of scarce resources to the disadvantage of their deprived counterparts that are always on their knees, begging for their share of the limited resources.
District Director of Education (DDE), Mr. Dominic Dzanado disclosed that the district continues to battle with infrastructural challenges since its creation from the then-Akatsi district in 2012. He disclosed that a lot of basic schools are still under trees, adding that the situation is negatively affecting educational outcomes in the district. According to him, the lack of Kindergarten (KG) classrooms is also a big challenge in the district.
Mr. Dzanado acknowledged and commended the District Assembly and the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area for initiating a couple of projects in this regard, hoping that these classroom projects would be completed on time to augment the deficit. He appealed to NGOs in the educational space to come to the aid of the district not only with classroom infrastructure but also furniture and accommodation for teachers.
Earlier in his purpose of gathering address, Presiding Member (PM) of the Akatsi North District Assembly (ANDA), Hon. Patrick Ahiabu expressed grave concern about the high incidence of teenage pregnancies among young school girls in the district. He, therefore, called for concerted efforts to find a lasting solution to the canker, saying the development has the potential to erode the gains being made in educational development in the district.
A female old student of AVESCO and a Banker at Ho, Ms. Selina Zugah urged the pupils and students to always have role models that would inspire them to achieve their dreams and goals as well as greater heights in life.
The Paramount Chief of the Tagba (Xevi) Traditional Area, Torgbuiga Adogo Agbalekpor IV chaired the function. He commended the leadership and members of the GTAD for the initiative and hoped they would continue to get the needed support for a big event of this nature in the subsequent years. He also called on all Ave citizens, both home and abroad, to support all efforts geared towards the development of their hometown and the district.
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