WASSCE chaos: Police arrests Bright SHS proprietor

FFile Photo: Graphiconline.com

The police has picked up the proprietor of Bright Senior High School at Kukurantumi in the Eastern Region, Bright Amponsah, for allegedly instigating an attack on an invigilator and a reporter with the Daily Graphic.

Final-year students of school were on rampage on Thursday and beat an external invigilator in the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), Mr David Nii Djan Mensah, and a reporter with the Daily Graphic, Mr Emmanuel Pacome Damalie.

The students got infuriated after the external invigilator resisted their attempts to engage in exams malpractices.

Officials of the WAEC, who have been detailing how it all happened, accused the proprietor of the school Bright Amponsah of inciting his students to attack them.

In all, at least four WAEC officials and national service personnel with state-owned newspaper, The Daily Graphic was wounded in the process. 

An official who was attacked. Photo: Facebook

Victim’s accounts

All the victims have since been treated and discharged after seeking medical attention.

Nii Djan Mensah, the WAEC officer supervising the Kukurantumi and Tafo Zones, explained that vigilance had been heightened because of purported malpractices being supported by teachers of the school.

Mr. Mensah recounted that on Monday when the integrated science paper was being written, he discovered some evidence of cheating in a urinal in the school then in one of the exam halls. He said he also found foreign materials under the desk of one of the candidates through the invigilator, one of the teachers in the school, pretended not to see it.

Mr. Mensah said he then tried to retrieve the material and “before I realized, he had put it in his mouth and he started chewing it.”

“Once he started chewing it… [one of the administrators] saw him chew the photocopied materials. He asked him to bring it out. I also asked him to bring it out. But he didn’t”, Djan was quoted by CNR.

“After he chewed it for some time, he removed and threw it away and then bolted,” he added.

As a result of the development, WAEC decided not to allow any of the school’s teaches near the examination centers on Thursday. “So we recruited invigilators to come and do invigilation who were not teachers,” Mr. Mensah noted.

WAEC also had suspicions that there were impersonators “so we decided to go around with verification devices.” At this point, Mr. Mensah said the proprietor ordered the candidates to stop writing the paper and ordered the attack.

“Before we realized, the students had surrounded us. Once they surrounded us, then [the proprietor] gave them the command to beat us. Then they started beating us.”

The national service personnel with the Daily Graphic who was covering the incident also narrated chilling accounts about his encounter with the students who later labeled him as a “thief.”

The reporter, Emmanuel Pacome, told CNR that he was running for safety with students in pursuit when he was caught and beaten.

“They jumped onto motorbikes and crossed me with crowbars and stones… they were shouting I was a thief so nobody wanted to approach me [to help]. They were beating me with sticks.”

Other WAEC officers were attacked by the students when they tried to secure video evidence.

“While they were attacking we were videoing so he [the proprietor] told the students to take our phones because he didn’t want any evidence of them attacking us.”

GES, WAEC investigation

Education watchers have condemned the acts by the rampaging students who have called for the closure of the Bright Senior High School.

Notable schools which have recorded such developments include the Tweneboa KoduaNdewura Jakpa, Juaben, Mim, Adanwomase, Ekumfi Ameyaw, and the Tamale Senior High Schools.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) and the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) have begun investigations into the matter.

Director-General Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa who has condemned the acts told Accra-based Joy FM that students found culpable will not go unpunished.

“It’s indiscipline”, the Director-General said. “Students should channel their grievances to the appropriate and not resort to violence”, he added.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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