WAEC enlightens stakeholders on the Fundamentals of the BECE Grading System

WAEC enlightens stakeholders on the Fundamentals of the BECE Grading System
WAEC enlightens stakeholders on the Fundamentals of the BECE Grading System

 

Ferdinand | EducationGhana |June 8| WAEC enlightens stakeholders on the Fundamentals of the BECE Grading System

 

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has enlightened stakeholders on the fundamentals of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) grading system.

The Council’s Public Affairs Director, Mrs Agnes Teye-Kumi, made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ workshop on the BECE grading system in Accra on Tuesday.

Mrs Teye-Kumi said the workshop was to educate stakeholders on the new grading system, which was introduced in 2022.

She said the new grading system was a norm-referenced system, which meant that candidates were graded based on their performance relative to the performance of other candidates.

Mrs Teye-Kumi said under the new system, candidates who performed better would be awarded higher grades, while those who performed lower would be awarded lower grades.

She said the new grading system was also a nine-point grading system, with Grade 1 being the highest grade and Grade 9 being the lowest grade.

Mrs Teye-Kumi said the Council had also introduced a bonus system, which would be awarded to candidates who scored above 80 per cent in any subject.

She said the bonus system was to encourage candidates to work hard and to reward them for their hard work.

Mrs Teye-Kumi said the Council was committed to providing quality education and to ensuring that candidates were well-prepared for the BECE.

She said the Council would continue to engage stakeholders to ensure that the new grading system was well-understood and that it was used to promote quality education in Ghana.

The workshop was organized on 1st June 2023, under the theme, “The Fundamentals of the BECE Grading System” to bring further clarity to the BECE grading system and answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions.

The Former Head of the Test Administration Division at WAEC, Mr Felix Akuffo-Badoo was the Guest Speaker for the forum.

Representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, the Ghana Private Schools Association, and the National Parents Teachers Association attended the workshop.

The participants were taken through the new grading system and the bonus system.

They also discussed the challenges of the new grading system and how to address them.

The participants commended the Council for introducing the new grading system and the bonus system.

They said the new grading system would help to improve the quality of education in Ghana.

They also said the bonus system would encourage candidates to work hard and reward them for their hard work.


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Two Marking Scheme Allegations

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says it uses one marking scheme in assessing all Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) across the country.

“The Council has never used two different marking schemes for candidates of BECE in private and public schools.”

Mrs Wendy E. Addy-Lamptey, Head of National Office, WAEC, said this at the Council’s forum on BECE Grading System in Accra.

 

The BECE was first administered in the 1990s as a result of the 1987 Educational Reforms.
The reforms came with the introduction of Continuous Assessment Scores as a component of the total score to be used for grading.

The Standard Nine (Stanine) Grading system was adopted for the examination.
The forum, therefore, seeks to bring clarity to the BECE grading system and help stakeholders to appreciate the performance of candidates better.

Mrs Addy-Lamptey regretted that various media reports had suggested that the Council was using two different marking schemes for Private and Public school candidates.

“Let me use this opportunity to state that a final marking scheme is developed for each subject at the end of the Preliminary Coordinating meeting and all examiners use this final marking scheme to mark scripts of all candidates for that subject.”

According to her, the issue of the performance of BECE candidates had been topical over the years.

“This is even more so because that is used in the selection of students into Senior High Schools.”

Mr Pateh Bah, Registrar of WAEC, in a speech read on his behalf, said the council used equal marking schemes for private and public schools, adding, “The schemes used by the council were impartial. There is only one marking scheme for all, our scheme does not favour anyone.”

Mr Bah, therefore, urged the media to do their fact checks before publication.

Dr Kafui Etsey, Associate Professor at the University of Cape Coast, who chaired the forum, said research had shown that if Ghana changed from the BECE marking system, the council would rather record more failures and a reduction in the number of brilliant students.

Prof. Estey said Ghana could adopt its own system of assessing the youth and other countries could also learn from it.

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WAEC enlightens stakeholders on the Fundamentals of the BECE Grading System
WAEC enlightens stakeholders on the Fundamentals of the BECE Grading System

Summary of WAEC’s Statement on the BECE Grading System

 

  1. It adheres to a standard procedure in the development, finalization, and application of marking schemes used in the marking of BECE scripts.
  2. For each subject, only one draft marking scheme is created.

  3. At National Preliminary Coordination Meetings attended by Chief Examiners and Zonal Team Leaders for each of the BECE subjects, the draft marking schemes (one for each subject) are finalized.

  4. To ensure consistency in the award of marks, the final marking schemes (one for each subject) are used to mark dummy scripts of candidates.

  5. Following that, Zonal Coordination Meetings for Chief Examiners, Zonal Team Leaders, and Team Leaders are held at all marking venues across the country to mark dummy scripts and ensure consistency in the award of marks.

  6. Primary Coordination Finally, meetings are held for Chief Examiners, Zonal Team Leaders, and Assistant Examiners at all marking venues where BECE scripts are marked. The marking schemes that were previously finalized are the ones that are used.

  7. At the conclusion of the Coordination Meetings, all examiners use the final marking scheme for each subject to mark all candidates’ scripts.

  8. There are no school names or school codes.

  9. Scripts are exchanged across the country’s sixteen regions to ensure that examiners in different regions do not mark the scripts of candidates from their respective regions.

See also BREAKING: GES Announces Date For 2023 Promotion Examinations
10. The Standard Grading System is used to evaluate BECE candidates.

  1. Unlike teacher-created assessments, the BECE has no fixed grade boundaries. The grade boundaries for each subject change from year to year based on candidate performance.

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) will hold the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) for school and private candidates in the country from August 7, 2023, to August 11, 2023.

WAEC enlightens stakeholders on the Fundamentals of the BECE Grading System | 1
WAEC enlightens stakeholders on the Fundamentals of the BECE Grading System

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