The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has offered another opportunity to the 31,196 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates who failed to make the grade for admission to senior high schools (SHSs) and technical institutes this year.
The candidates can register for the 2019 BECE for Private Candidates to improve on their grades to enable them to benefit from the free SHS policy next year.
The Head of Public Affairs of WAEC, Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, told the Junior Graphic that first-time candidates as well as those seeking to improve on their grades have between October 1 and November 30, 2018, to register for the BECE for Private Candidates.
This year, 31,196 candidates could not be placed in SHSs and technical institutes (TIs) because they scored Grade Nine in either Mathematics or English Language.
About 490,514 out of a total of 521,710 candidates who sat for the BECE this year qualified to be placed in SHSs and TIs for the double track educational system.
They included those who sat for the private BECE in February this year.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe said it was the expectation of WAEC that candidates; including those who would be rewriting the exam and others who would be first-time candidates would take advantage of the opportunity given them to pursue secondary education.
“There is an opportunity for those who sit for the private BECE to benefit from the free SHS. In fact, this is a chance for them. I would, especially encourage the first-timers; those who have never written the BECE before to take advantage of this as well,” she said.
Asked whether the candidates would benefit from the government’s programme of free registration, Mrs Teye-Cudjoe said no, explaining that the candidates themselves would have to bear the full cost of the registration for the examination.
She said candidates who want the government’s support would have to go back to their former junior high schools (JHSs) so that their names would be added to the list of candidates of their former schools for the 2019 BECE for School Candidates.
She explained that candidates who wrote the private BECE were not required to register for all the subjects but could register for only the subjects they did not perform well in when they sat for the school BECE.
“If you want to register, you have to go online to our (WAEC) website and go through the requirements.
“I would like to advise candidates who go to Internet cafes to register to provide their correct details, especially their dates of birth and the spelling of their names.
This is because we have had situations where some candidates come back to complain that their names and dates of birth were wrong,” she said.
According to her, candidates should not just leave their details with cafe operators to register them but should personally take part in the process to ensure that their details were correct.
The 2019 BECE for Private Candidates will be the fifth since the inception of the initiative which began in 2015 with 1,181 candidates.
In 2016, 1,418 candidates sat for the examination while there were 1,379 candidates in 2017.
Last year recorded the highest number of candidates of 11,856 which could have been as a result of the introduction of the free SHS policy.
The private BECE would be written from February 11-15, 2019.