BECE will not be cancelled, says GES boss

There have been reports that the Ghana Education Service (GES) is set to cancel the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) soon

Dr Eric Nkansah, the director general of the Ghana Education Service (GES) has said the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) would not be cancelled.

“Please do not communicate that we are no more writing BECE. BECE is not cancelled. We are writing and even those who are in Junior High School Two would also write. “

The director general said these following rumours among sections of the public that BECE would be cancelled or scraped. Hence final year pupils at the Junior High Schools would not be writing BECE.

Dr Nkansah was contributing to discussions on the current BECE grading system forum.

The forum was organised by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and dubbed: ” The Fundamentals of the BECE Grading System.”

It brought together representatives from the Ghana National Association of Teachers, the Ghana National Association of Private Schools, GES, and the Ministry of Education, among others.

It sought to bring clarity on the current BECE grading systems as against the performances of students.

Dr Nkansah told the gathering that all challenges associated with the BECE grading system would be addressed by the service.

Felix Akuffo-Badoo, former head of the Test Administration Division, WAEC, said Ghana adopted the Standard Nine (Stanine) grading system for examination.

According to Akuffo –Badoo, various education review committees have also made recommendations to address issues raised with the use of the Continuous Assessment Scores and the Grading system.

He said the council had used the Stanine System for recruitment and promotion.

According to him, the system was found to be the best that could be used for both certification and selection in the early years of the education reforms.

He noted that under the Stanine Grading system, scores were normally distributed and the standard of candidates across the years had been the same.

He said under the system, it was easy to compute because it had no human intervention, and some had no financial implications.

“It also gave a quick understanding of where a test score lies and it was good for selection from a group of large applicants.”

However, he said one could not compare results across years and it could not be used to reward teachers/learners for improved performance.

Akuffo-Badoo, therefore, stressed the need to revisit the various recommendations of all education review committees in relation to the BECE Grading System by stakeholders.

These recommendations, he said, included organising training programmes for Teachers on Continuous Assessment Score Systems.

He also called for the adoption of ” a criterion referencing grading system that would reflect variations in the performance of pupils from year to year.”

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