HomeNewsEducationWAEC reacts to private schools’ threat to boycott BECE, WASSCE

WAEC reacts to private schools’ threat to boycott BECE, WASSCE

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The West African Examination Council (WAEC) says it does not intend to review new charges to clients.

Despite threats from the Ghana National Association of Private Schools, the council says it remains steadfast in its position, citing the need to adapt to the rising expenses associated with managing the examination processes.

According to the Director of Public Affairs at WAEC, John Kapi, the Council considers various factors, such as rising costs of printing materials, in determining examination fees.

Speaking on JoyFM’s Midday News, he noted that it is “petty” for the members of GNAPs to threaten a boycott over the examination fees.

“For example, before we come out with examination fees, we consider a number of things. Now, we do the printing of the question papers ourselves and for the bond paper that we use in printing, we have to import. And so the parameters that we use are based on market prices or market conditions.”

“We look at inflation, exchange rate, port charges and all of these are looked at before we come up with our estimates about what we are going to charge. Obviously, already this year, fuel prices are beginning to shoot up high, we don’t know where it will get to,” Mr Kapi said.

He acknowledged that WAEC’s budget for the year was calculated the previous year, but emphasised that current economic fluctuations could necessitate adjustments leading to fee increases.

This comes after GNAPS threatened a nationwide boycott of the BECE and the WASSCE should the WAEC increase registration fees without engaging them.

According to the Association, students from private schools currently pay GH¢465 and GH¢214 for WASSCE and BECE respectively.

They are, therefore, asking the government to recognise low fee-paying private schools as social interventions aimed at educating children in deprived communities and support them as such.

GNAPS also threatened to take action if their concerns are ignored.

“We entreat WAEC to always negotiate with GNAPS prior to any fee increase. Let me serve notice that GNAPS will lead all pre-tertiary private schools to boycott next year’s BECE should WAEC arbitrarily increase the fees.

Despite GNAPS’ stance, Mr Kapi clarified that WAEC does not unilaterally decide on fee increases.

He explained that representatives from different government offices and associations on their budget committee board help decide any possible increment.

“We have a budget subcommittee of the board, and this is made up of people who have the requisite background. They look at the budget, we fix the figures, and then it is presented to the board itself. Now, I need people to understand that the board is chaired by the Director General of the Ghana Education Service.”

“We also have a rep from the Minister of Education, who is also the Chief Director. We have a rep from the budget department and the finance ministry.  We have a rep from CHASS, a rep from the private schools association, universities, the chamber of commerce, and the Attorney General’s department. So all these will come together and sit down to look at whatever we’ve come up with,” Mr Kapi said.

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