President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed the Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, to engage the Ghana Education Service to reconsider its decision to ban 14 dismissed final year senior high school students from taking the ongoing West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The students were dismissed for indiscipline, including various acts of vandalism at their respective examination centres.
However, a statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Office of the President, Eugene Arhin, said “even though the acts of indiscipline undertaken by these students are intolerable, acts which have led to their subsequent dismissal from school, President Akufo-Addo is of the firm view that dismissal alone is enough punishment, and will serve as enough deterrent against future acts of indiscipline.”
He said the President believes that everyone deserves a second chance in life, “and is, thus, hopeful that the students will be allowed by the GES to take their final examinations as scheduled.”
The statement added that all other punishment imposed by the relevant authorities will, however, remain in place.
Management of GES last week explained that the sanctions had been taken to “serve as a deterrent and to ensure that life and property are protected in schools.”
Apart from the 14 students who were sanctioned, three teachers were interdicted and barred from invigilation, pending the conclusion of the probe to ascertain their culpability or otherwise in the alleged activities as “they are further being referred to the security agencies for further investigation.”
They are Thomas Anochie and Joseph Andoh, of Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School, and Evans Yeboah, of Kade Senior High/Technical School.
The GES further disclosed that all students who are in schools where destruction of property occurred are to be surcharged for the full cost of the damage.
According to GES, the results of these students will be withheld until they have fully paid up the cost of items destroyed.
“These punishments are without prejudice to sanctions that may be taken by the West African Examination Council,” the statement added.
There have been a number of reports about student agitations over what some of the students describe as tight security and supervision of the ongoing WASSCE.
Some students of Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School and Juaben Senior High School threatened to boycott the exams, accusing their school authorities of being ‘too strict’ during the supervision of their first paper.
Students at Bright Senior High School at Kukurantumi last week also attacked some invigilators after allegedly being spurred on by their proprietor.
The violent action from the students was in protest against strict invigilation during the examinations.
Since the beginning of these developments, the Ghana Education Service said it would adopt a zero-tolerance approach to the recent disturbances in schools.
It was appalled by the videos showing “crass indiscipline” from students, including the instances of students insulting the President.