Claim: Media reports state that students sitting for Ghana’s 2023 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) are the last batch to take that examination.
Verdict: FALSE! Both the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) have refuted the claim. The Ministry and its agency have explained the 2023 candidates will be the last batch to write the BECE under the old syllabus. However, the 2024 BECE will be conducted under the new syllabus, the Minister of Education and the GES Director-General have said.
At least 600,714 Ghanaian students are participating in the 2023 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), which began on August 7, 2023, across the country. See news reports here, here and here.
There are 300,391 females and 300,323 males from 18,993 schools nationwide, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has said.
According to the examination body, the number of candidates registered for the 2023 BECE is 8.8%, higher than the 2022 entry figure pegged at 552,276. See here for the press briefing on this year’s examinations by WAEC.
The rationale for the reform, as explained by the Dzobo Committee Report of 1973, was to fashion “a new type of education that was consistent with national development.” See paragraph 2, line 3 of the report here. Also, see here.
However, the first BECE was written in 1990.
Exactly 33 years since the start of the BECE in the country, there are reports that this year’s candidates will be the last batch to take that examination.
“These candidates will be the last batch of students to write BECE. A new examination will be administered in 2024 following the introduction of the new curriculum in 2019,” Accra-based Myjoyonline reported on August 7, 2023. See the report here.
The reports were fuelled by the introduction of the new Standards Based Curriculum (SBC) in Ghana in 2019, which marked a major shift from the objective-based curriculum (OBC) characterised by rot learning, also known as chew-pour-pass-and-forget educational system.
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) has said the SBC will address the challenges with the objective-based curriculum by ensuring that the content of the curriculum is benchmarked to international standards. See the report here.
DUBAWA investigated the reports because of the interest it has generated in the country.
The Minister of Education, who doubles as a Member of Parliament (MP), said reports that the BECE would be scrapped to enrol junior high school students into the various senior high schools in the country is a “hoax.”
He noted that the “government is committed to ensuring every school-going Ghanaian child is provided with the best infrastructure and materials needed to train him or her.”
“I can assure you that my Ministry will help create a conducive learning environment and the necessary interventions to guarantee this outcome,” he told the members of the Conference of Assisted Senior High Schools (CHASS) and Principals of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Kumasi on March 11, 2023.
Similarly, the Director-General of GES, Dr Eric Nkansah, has said there is no such plan to cancel the BECE in the country.
“Please do not communicate that we are no longer writing BECE. The BECE is not cancelled, we are writing (it) and even those who are in junior high school (JHS) 2 will also write it,” he addressed participants at a forum organised by WAEC on the BECE Grading Systems in Accra on June 1, 2023. See the report here.
Less than 24 hours after the start of the 2023 BECE, the GES has called out an Accra-based TV3 over a report that this year’s examination will be the last of its kind.
See the post here.
The junior high school students sitting for the 2023 BECE in Ghana are not the last batch to take the examination. However, they are the last to write the BECE under the old syllabus.