WASSCE: 78% Of Schools Not Received Gov’t’s Free Math Sets – IFEST

WASSCE: 78% Of Schools Not Received Gov't's Free Math Sets – IFEST

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The Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) has said 78 per cent of schools have not received the free mathematical instruments (SMIs) for the West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) candidates promised by the government.

Last month, the Parliament of Ghana approved a $3.2 million tax waiver for the procurement of the math sets for the candidates.

The tax waiver was criticised by the Minority but the government explained that the financial arrangement was to enable the Ghana Education Service distribute 853,009 units of the devices, comprising mathematical sets and scientific calculators, to all SHS students.

But IFEST, in a statement, said its checks reveal that 78 per cent of the schools have not received the maths sets.

IFEST is, therefore, demanding answers from the Ministry of Education on the following:

1. The current state of the procurement process.

2. When they intend supplying the SMIs to the WASSCE candidates.

3. If it is still relevant to procure these SMIs for the WASSCE candidates since as at the time they wrote the Core Mathematics examination (17th August 2020), these “math sets” have still not been delivered.

4. The validity of the sole sourcing procedure adopted and the cost of the SMI (GHS75 each) since the SMIs cannot be classified as an urgent need of the WASSCE candidates now.

Below is the full IFEST statement:

PRESS STATEMENT

Ministry of Education should come clear on the supply of Scientific Mathematical Instrument (SMI) for WASSCE Candidates

The attention of the Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) has been drawn to an agreement between the Ministry of Education and a company called Messrs Bluegrass Group Limited to supply 853,009 units of the Kapek Scientific Mathematical Instruments for use during West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) by Ghanaian candidates.

It would be recalled that, about a month ago, the Parliament of Ghana approved a $3.2M tax waiver for the procurement of “math sets” for use by students during the WASSCE. The SMIs whose approval came under severe criticisms by various stakeholders basically due to the cost of the “math sets” were supposed to be delivered to the candidates for the 2020 WASSCE since it was to help “combat examinations malpractice perpetuated especially by use of mathematical sets, calculator in examination halls by candidates and it will also provide free in-one functionality which comes in cheaper than acquiring them individually and also help improve the rating of the certificate issued” according to the Chairman of the Finance Committee. While we applaud the Ministry for such an initiative, our checks from about 78% of all the schools writing the WASSCE this year indicates that, no student have been given such package. IFEST would, therefore, want to find out from the Ministry of Education:

1. The current state of the procurement process.

2. When they intend supplying the SMI to the WASSCE candidates.

3. If it is still relevant to procure these SMIs for the WASSCE candidates since as at the time they wrote the Core Mathematics examination (17th August 2020), these “math sets” have still not been delivered.

4. The validity of the sole sourcing procedure adopted and the cost of the SMI (Ghc 75 each) since the SMIs cannot be classified as an urgent need of the WASSCE candidates now.

We would want to appeal to the Ministry to be circumspect in their expenditure patterns, since there is already, a lot of pressure on the education sector budget which has made it very difficult for other sub-sectors to get the needed attention they deserve. It is therefore prudent for the Ministry to be prudent in the utilisation of the scarce resources available to them.

Signed

Peter Anti

(Executive Director, Ag.)

—classfmonline

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