The Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) started in earnest in the Cape Coast Metropolis but not without the usual challenges of late arrival of examination materials.
The English Language paper, which was the first of the week-long examinations, started late in almost all the centres in the Metropolis that the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited.
The paper, which was supposed to start at 0900hrs prompt, delay 30 minutes after 0900hrs at some of the centres, the GNA check revealed.
Some of the examination centres were St. Augustine’s College, Adisadel College, Mfantsipim School, Wesley Girls High School and Holy Child School.
The GNA’s investigation at some of the centres indicated that the delay was because there was only one vehicle conveying the examination papers to the nine centres in the Metropolis.
However, Mr Isaac Danso, the Cape Coast Branch Controller of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), attributed the delay to a miscommunication between the Police and the Ghana Education Service (GES).
According to him, the distributing officers were at the WAEC depot as early as 0600hrs awaiting the Police to escort the examination materials to the examination centres, while the Police had also gone to the centres.
When the GNA arrived at the St. Augustine’s College Centre at 08:50hrs, 280 candidates, made up of 125 males and 155 females were already seated anxiously waiting for the arrival of the examination question papers.
The situation was not different at the other centres that the GNA visited.
Efforts to reach the Regional Director of Education to explain the delay was not successful.
Mr. Alex Mensah, Centre Supervisor at the Holy Child School where a total of 508 candidates, made up 264 males and 244 females were sitting for the examination, told the GNA that three candidates were absent, with two females reportedly pregnant.
In all 3, 275 candidates made up of 1,591 males and 1,684 females are writing the papers at nine examination centres in the Metropolis.
At the regional level, a total of 53,670 candidates comprising 27,485 males and 26,185 females are writing the papers at 148 examination centres.
Among the candidates writing the exam were 22 hearing-impaired candidates, made up of 13 males and 9 females from the Cape Coast School for the Deaf.
There were also five visually -impaired candidates from the Ghana National Basic School who were using the tactile examination papers.