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General News of Thursday, 27 December 2012

Source: Graphic Online

Education Ministry directs investigations into Bosomtwi District exam fiasco

The Ministry of Education has asked the Ashanti Regional Directorate of Education to investigate and submit a report on the inability of 24,000 basic school pupils in the Bosomtwe District to write the end of first term examination for the 2012-2013 academic year.

That, it said, was because the reason given by the District Director of Education, William Awuni, that the pupils could not write the examination because the Capitation Grant delayed was untenable.

It questioned why of all the over 170 districts, the Bosomtwe District was the only district that failed to get its share of the Capitation Grant, hence the inability of pupils to write their end of term examination.

According to the Head of Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Education, Mr Paul Krampah, the Capitation Grant was released somewhere in November this year, and questioned why the director complained of lack of funds to print question papers.

Moreover, he said, part of the arrears of the Capitation Grant for the 2011-2012 academic year could have been used since that was also released.

He said once the examination was planned the district directorate of education could have also arranged with printers who had been printing the question papers for pupils to print and hand over the question papers and then later pay them.

The Daily Graphic reported last week that about 24,000 pupils from 20 basic schools in the Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti Region were unable to write their end-of-term examinations because the examination papers could not be printed due to a lack of funds.

According to the Bosomtwe District Director of Education William Awuni, both teachers and pupils in the district had adequately prepared for the examination but a delay in releasing the capitation prevented them from writing the examination.

He said that was the second time that a delay in the release of funds had prevented exam papers from being printed and therefore written, explaining that a similar incident occurred in 2011.

While expressing concern over the situation, Mr Awuni noted that the Education Directorate received its capitation grant of GH¢35,000 when schools were preparing to vacate.

He said the Conference of Heads of Basic Schools (CHOBS) in the district, together with the District Directorate of Education and the Bosomtwe District Assembly, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that allowed pupils in the district to write a common examination.

That, according to him, was to standardise and streamline teaching and learning activities in the district.

He said they further agreed not to collect any levy from the pupils in the form of examination fees but rather use part of the capitation grant to print the examination questions.

Asked when the pupils would be assessed, Mr Awuni said that now that the money had been released, all pupils will write their examinations in January next year.

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