Five students have received the 2013 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) Distinction Awards.
The ceremony, organised in Accra on Thursday, was sponsored by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Endowment Fund and the Merchant Bank.
The students, Ms Ivy Ama Mannoh, Rhoda Adu-Boafo, both old students of Wesley Girls’ Senior High School (SHS), and Master Dery Mwinmaarong Lucio, who schooled at the St Francis Xavier Jnr Seminary SHS in Wa, won the first, second and third prizes respectively.
Ms Mannoh, the overal best student, who is currently reading Medicine at the University of Ghana Medical School, Legon, received $250 from the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and another $250 from the Ghana national office of WASSCE. She also received GH¢1000.00 from the Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Alex Kyeremeh, a certificate and a scholarship package from Merchant Bank Limited.
Ms Adu-Boafo and Master Lucio, received $250 each, a certificate and plaque for their alma mater. They were honoured for their excellent performance at the national and international levels.
Two other students who scored distinctions in their various subjects of speciality received certificates, $250 from WAEC and a plaque each for their alma mater.
The two were Ms Winefred Ruby Amakye, who completed Wesley Girls’ SHS and Ms Deborah Aba Gaisee, who completed Holy Child SHS.
The plaque was presented to the alma mater of the award winners, for producing excellent students.
Candidates who wrote the examination
The Head of WAEC Ghana, Very Rev. Sam Nii Nmai Ollennu, said the examination was conducted for 409,759 students made up of 197,914 from the three-year programme and 211,845 students from the four-year programme.
According to him, 151 candidates out of the number met the criterion for the awards, which meant that they obtained eight grade ‘A1’s.
“However, unlike in 2012 when candidates from all the seven programmes met the criterion for the awards, the case was different this year,” he added.
Very Rev. Ollennu added that out of the 151 candidates who qualified, 96 were products of the four-year SHS programme and 55 were that of the three-year programme.
The overall best candidate was, however, a product of the three-year programme, he said.
He said the 2013 candidates did not perform as excellently as the 2012 candidates, based on their analysis.
“An analysis of the May/ June 2012 WASSCE indicates that the candidates performed much better than the 2011 candidates,” he said.
Hitches resulting in poor performance
He said the chief examiners identified some hitches that resulted in the poor performance of some candidates.
They include the lack of answering skills and understanding of questions, inadequate preparation, illegible handwriting and poor application of technical terms, and inability to link theory with practicals.
In a statement read on her behalf, the Minister of Education Prof. Naana Jane Opoku- Agyeman, said it was disheartening to note that despite efforts by stakeholders to curb examination malpractices, the menace lingered on.
She explained that the cancellation of the results of 5,653 candidates last year, attested to that fact.
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