Angry parents of some 546 students in two districts in the Northern region who could not benefit from the Free Senior High School policy on Friday besieged the offices of Sagnarigu district education service.
The candidates failed to gain admission to pursue the Senior High education because the West Africa Examination Council respectively canceled their Mathematics and Science papers which were earlier subject of investigations.
The Examination Council withheld results of candidates from a huge number of schools on suspicion of malpractices during the 2107 Basis Education Certificate Examination.
Eight schools in the Zabzugu and Sagnarigu districts were among the dozens to be affected by the outcome of WAEC’s probe.
92 students from Raija junior high school, 77 from Tuvugu, 88 from Nuria junior high school, Kelegu,56, and 35 from Gor, all in the Zabzugu district have had their Science results canceled. Three schools in the Sagnarigu district including the Bishops Junior High School separately had their mathematics papers canceled.
The protest was led by the affected candidates who hit metal objects, tied red rags and invaded the education complex before marching to the office of the WAEC. The students maintained they did no wrong and challenged the decision by WAEC to block results of the two papers.
Parents at the education office accused both WAEC and the district education unit of showing lack of interest or concern about the plight of the students.
A parent whose child mathematics paper was canceled Madam Hawa Zakaria explained that WAEC issued a query demanding the candidates to respond to the allegations of examination malpractices. She said the candidate responded to the query and presented it in a CD format to WAEC.
According to her, another directive came from WAEC rejecting the response and directing that candidates were to answer the query individually.
“We did that on Monday only for us to wake up on Tuesday and check and the results was canceled”, Madam Hawa said, adding that, “all the students are here, parents are here, we don’t know what to do. We are appealing to authorities; we didn’t get the latter on time. WAEC didn’t get the latter on time or they got it and they didn’t circulate it on time”
They also accused of WACE officials in the region of keeping information about the matter away from them saying that if they have received the letter containing the outcome of the investigation early enough, they would have appealed and forced a change.
A letter cited by StarrNews showed that the outcome of the investigation was written on August 25 but its regional office claimed they received the letter on September 6 in the same week that candidates were asked to answer query.
The parents claim after receiving the letter, the regional office failed to distribute it to the various education directorates and that they only heard of the cancelation of the papers in the media.
One parent said (in Dagbani): “whether the cancelation of the papers was right or wrong, they must place our children in the Senior High School; nothing more, nothing less”.
An authority at the education directorate who refused to be identified received the crowd and call for calm. He said the matter was being extensively to find a solution and pleaded for enough patience.
He told the students to write down their names which they will use as evidence to further discussions with officials of WAEC. The request was turned down and the students rampaged in front of the complex stepping on flowers and chanting songs.