This year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) is scheduled to start today, Monday, October 17, 2022.

According to the schedule of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), the examination will end on Friday, October 21.

A total of 553,408 Junior High School (JHS) students and private candidates who want to improve their grades will sit for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

For the first time, these two groups of candidates will write the five-day test at BECE due to the consistently low record of private sector candidates over the years.

A statement signed and issued yesterday in Accra by the Head of Public Relations, WAEC National Office, Mrs Agnes Tay-Cudjoe, said that out of 18,501 schools, there were 552,276 applicants and 1,132 private applicants.

In 2015, WAEC created a private candidate version of BECE to give BECE candidates who could not pass the assessment another chance to enter second-cycle institutions. There were 1,181 candidates in the first edition.

The statement said that 276,988 male and 275,288 female candidates for the 2023 Central School Examination in the country are 3.48 percent lower than the 2021 figure of 572,167.

The statement on the other hand said that 634 male and 498 female candidates, up 10.09 percent from 1,067 in 2021, will appear in 15 selected centers, mostly in regional capitals.

The Board assured members of the public that all appropriate measures have been taken to protect the security of the test and ensure the successful conduct of the test.

These measures reportedly include printing the test questions in accordance with the board’s security norms and checking and strengthening the warehouse.

To avoid delays in starting papers at these centers and also the early release of question papers to Distributors, additional warehouses have been arranged to store classified materials near some selected centers.

Other measures include 24-hour guarding of all warehouses by the Ghana Police Service; provide security guards at each test center and deploy additional personnel for surveillance and monitoring of the center.

The board advised the candidates to be alert to ‘check social media scams’ to avoid any kind of fraud as the main aim is to generate money from fraud.

“Candidates can be found in their records when they are flagged and the penalties for examination violations include cancellation of the subject/all results,” he said.

The council also urged all inspection officials to abide by the rules and regulations governing the conduct of inspections and to refrain from illegal activities.