A total of 222 pregnant girls and 81 nursing mothers across various districts were among the candidates who wrote the 2023 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the Central Region.
Majority of the cases were recorded in Kasoa, which presented 60 per cent of the total candidates in the region.
The region also recorded 318 absentees for varied reasons including giving birth, sickness, and death while some had no reason at all.
Mr Emmanuel Essuman, the Regional Education Director, who presented the report at the Central Regional Coordinating Council meeting Thursday, noted that four inmates from the Ankaful Prisons also wrote the BECE as private candidates at the WAEC Hall.
On the brighter side however, 55 students with special needs comprising 25 males and 30 females with conditions such as low vision, total blindness, autism, cerebral palsy, dysgraphia, and hearing impairment sat for the exam.
He said a total of 68,049 candidates comprising 34,113 males and 33,936 females from 2,381 public and private Junior High Schools (JHSs) were presented to write the exams across 221 centres.
However, 67,731 sat for the papers due to absenteeism.
Touching on some successes of the examination, the director indicated that there were sign language interpreters for the deaf, large print for those with low vision while extra time was given to those with autism, cerebral palsy and learning difficulties.
“We were able to through Girls Education Officers bring back some teen mothers to write the exams,” he said.
Mr Essuman intimated that the region also recorded a few incidents of examination malpractices one of which involved two private teachers in Upper Denkyira East who were apprehended by the police.
“Two final year students in Gomoa East did not write the examination because the Buduatta headteacher failed to register them,” he revealed.
The Director expressed disquiet over the truancy on the part of some pupils after registration, some with the expectation of being assisted during the exams.
He also bemoaned the lack of adequate funds to monitor the 221 centres, adding that the Regional Directorate’s two vehicles for monitoring were in poor conditions.
Going forward, Mr Essuman said the Regional Directorate would ensure that a district-based anti-examination malpractices campaign was organised to reduce the incidence of malpractices.
In addition to that, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and other stakeholders would intensify sensitisation for parents and students on the need to conform to school rules and regulations after registration.
He also appealed to the RCC for support in the monitoring of both BECE and WASSCE in the region.