A total of 602,457 final-year junior high school (JHS) students across Ghana are writing this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) which starts today.
The total candidature of 602,457 represents an increase of 49,049 over last year’s figure of 553,408.
The examination would be held simultaneously for both school and private candidates.
Both examinations are taking place from today, Monday, August 7 to Friday, August 11, 2023.
Candidates will write Religious and Moral Education and English Language today.
On Tuesday, they would write Integrated Science and Ghanaian Language and then on Wednesday, Social Studies and Basic Design and Technology.
Thursday would be Mathematics and Information and Communication Technology and Friday, French.
Out of the 602,457, a total of 600,714 will sit the BECE for School Candidates (BECE-SC) while 1,743 will sit the BECE for Private Candidates (BECE-PC).
The BECE-SC is made up of 300,323 males and 300,391 females while the BECE-PC will involve 889 males and 854 females, statistics from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) have indicated.
Eighteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty-three public and private JHSs will participate in the BECE-SC, which is mainly for students who have undergone nine years of basic education.
They will write the BECE at 2,137 centres with one supervisor each.
There will be 2,000 assistant supervisors and 21,025 invigilators.
In the case of the BECE-PC, it will be written at 15 examination centres with a supervisor.
The examination will have 60 invigilators and one assistant supervisor.
In the breakdown for the BECE-SC, the Ashanti Region will, as usual, present the highest number of candidates, which is 117,084, made up of 57 973 males and 59,111 females.
It is followed by the Greater Accra Region with 112,894 candidates: 54,624 males and 58,270 females.
Next is the Central Region with 68,035 candidates — 34,166 males and 33,869 females.
The Western and Western North regions will present 60,528 candidates (30,825 males and 29,703 females).
Fifty-eight thousand, three hundred and eleven candidates, made up of 29,703 males and 28,608 females, will sit the exam in the Eastern Region while 55,617 others (27,882 males and 27,735 females) will take part in the examination in the Ahafo, Bono and Bono East regions.
The Northern, North East and Savannah regions will present a total of 46,783 candidates: 24,706 males and 22,077 females.
The Volta and Oti regions will also have 44,221 candidates (22,723 males and 21,498 females) while Upper East Region would have 22,437 candidates (10,558 males and 11,879 females) with the Upper West Region, 14,804 candidates (7,163 males and 7,641 females).
For that of the BECE-PC, which is for re-sitters and first-timers, the Greater Accra Region has the highest number of candidates of 565 — 303 males and 262 females.
Two hundred and thirteen candidates: 101 males and 112 females, will write in the Central Region with 175 candidates in the Upper West Region, 90 males and 85 females.
The Ashanti Region will have 157 candidates: 75 males and 82 females.
A total of 124 candidates — 76 males and 48 females are taking part in the BECE-PC in the Ahafo, Bono and Bono East regions while 119 (51 males and 68 females) are expected to write in the Western and Western North regions.
The rest are Eastern Region, 109 candidates (64 males and 45 females); Volta and Oti, 96 candidates (43 males and 53 females); Northern, North East and Savannah regions, 96 candidates (36 males and 60 females), as well as Upper East Region, 89 candidates (50 males and 39 females).
Meanwhile, the WAEC has indicated its readiness to conduct a smooth and incident-free BECE this year.
It has charged candidates and school authorities to comport themselves during the examination period.
Among other things, the council said at a press conference last Wednesday that it would name and shame schools that were caught engaging in examination malpractice.
It also said it was investigating nine cases of unqualified candidates registered at the Ayi Mensah Basic School.