The announcement of government absorption of the Basic School Certificate Examination registration fees came as good news for some parents whose wards are in the public basic schools.
However, some schools in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality in the Eastern region have charged parents and pupils Ghc 100.00 in line with the registration which cost government has already fully absorbed, Rite FM’s Community Watch can confirm.
The government has already absorbed the registration fees of all the 2018 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates in public Junior High Schools.
The registration fee is GHc 75.00 per candidate in both private and government schools.
This was contained in a letter dated 8th November, 2017, sighted by Community Watch, from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to the National Headquarters, Regional, Metropolitan, Municipal, District and Directors of Education.
The host of Rite FM’s social advocacy programme dubbed Community Watch, Omanba Kodwo Boafo can affirm that no pupil in some public schools in the municipality was spared the payment of extra registration costs despite the government intervention.
These moneys are associated to processing of registration documents (overhead cost), signing of signatures, corrections, municipal mock examination, BECE smith and Science practical and passport photograph.
One of such schools is the Nuaso Ramseyer Presbyterian Junior High School, where pupils were made to pay hundred Ghana Cedis in anticipation of the usual cash and register system.
Meanwhile, school authorities have decided on refunding forty-five Ghana cedis out of the amount to pupils.
The Assistant head teacher of the school, Mr. Dorku justified the charges on the premise that “every single element the school charged was sanctioned by the Municipal education directorate.”
But Miss Rose Yaa Akanyi, Municipal Director of Education when contacted by Rite FM’s Omanba Boafo denied authorizing the charges.
In a bid to find out what is happening in other schools in the municipality, this reporter discovered that the practice of some schools in Akuse circuit is not different. The headmistress of a school (name withheld) admitted charging and collecting hundred Ghana Cedis from each student but her action, she added was an implementation of a decision communicated to her from the education directorate.
Whilst listing the items the claimed the charges covered, she also accounted and said sixty-five Ghana cedis will be used for preparation of the pupils towards the June 2018 BECE examination.
A source inside the school says, the BECE registration exercise and it monetary transaction is being handle by the headmistress without the knowledge of the teaching staff.
At Akuse Presbyterian Basic JHS, the headmistress, Madam Magaret Abotsi said her school collected fifteen Ghana Cedis only which was meant for the school’s internal mock examination. She further said, though some regular activities for the BECE are expected to come, she had no communication from the directorate to collect any money yet.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) Directorate, Lower Manya Krobo Municipal seems unaware that some schools are charging what they term as unapproved fees. When contacted, the Examination Officer and the Director, Mr. Daniel Opoku and Miss Rose Yaa Akanyi respectively, were frantic about the development and denied the claim by the head teachers.
“Management and the directorate is aware of the system and has not mandated any head to charge for mock or processing fee from any parent,” the director said.
The Director congratulated Rite FM for bringing the development to the attention of the directorate on the development and promised to send out officers from the directorate to investigate the issue since government has warned all directors to desist from charging any unapproved fees.
The BECE is required for both the certification and selection into Senior High Schools and Technical Institutions.
Source: Omanba Kodwo Boafofirstname.lastname@example.org