The president, Nana Akufo-Addo has announced that the government will absorb the full examination fees of all students sitting for the 2020 West Africa Senior School Certification Examination (WASSCE).
Delivering a televised address to update the country on the fight against COVID-19, Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that a total of 318,837 students will benefit from the intervention which the government has estimated to cost GHS 75.4 million.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, Government will absorb the WASSCE examination fees of the 313,837 SHS 3 students who will sit for the exam. GH¢75.4 million will be spent on this. These SHS 3 students, also referred to by some as the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’, are the first group of beneficiaries of Government’s Free Senior High School policy to sit the WASSCE exams,” Akufo-Addo said.
The 2020 WASSCE in Ghana will take place from August 3, 2020 after six weeks of studies, having now returned to school.
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) which conducts the WASSCE concurrently in anglophone West Africa; Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Liberia announced on 20th March 2020 that it was indefinitely suspending the annual exam due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, upon discussions with Ghana following the country’s decision to ease COVID-19 restrictions and allow final year students return to school, it was agreed that the exams will be held independently for Ghana.
COVID-19 preventive measures for SHS
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo says the government has put in place adequate measures to ensure that Senior High Schools are safe from COVID-19.
Among other things, he said the schools have been fumigated and disinfected while protecting equipment will be made available to teaching and non-teaching staff.
“All one thousand, one hundred and sixty-seven (1,167) Senior High Schools in the country have been fumigated and disinfected. Each student, teaching and non-teaching staff, invigilator and school administrator, numbering some eight hundred thousand (800,000), will be provided with three (3) pieces of reusable face masks, i.e. two (2) being provided tomorrow, and the third within a fortnight.”
While urging parents to notwithstanding also provide face masks for their wards, the president said the government is also making available veronica buckets, hand sanitizers among other sanitary materials as school reopen.
“A total of eighteen thousand (18,000) Veronica Buckets, eight hundred thousand (800,000) pieces of two hundred millilitre sanitizers, thirty-six thousand (36,000) rolls of tissue paper, thirty-six thousand (36,000) gallons of liquid soap, and seven thousand, two hundred (7,200) thermometer guns have been distributed,” he noted.