The written part of the General Certificate Examinations which took off last Monday June 12, 2017, a day which was coincidentally declared a “ghost town” in the NW & SW regions, have been running on across the NW region amid huge cases of absences and other skirmishes.
The SUN went to some examination centres in Bamenda and some neighbouring towns to ascertain the situation on the ground and the level of timidity of the turnout resonated in almost every centre this reporter visited.
The atmosphere at GBHS Bamenda like in GBHS Bayelle, GBHS Down Town and several other centers in Bamenda has been a calm one with no major security or administrative hitches recorded so far. But poor turnout is the reality at this year’s GCE.
In GTHS Bafut where The SUN visited, though officials refused to talk to The SUN, anonymous sources say turnout so far can best be rated at 20-25% for candidates who were registered to write at the center. The SUN was told that some candidates came for paper one and never returned for the other sessions of the exams.
GTHS Bafut is hosting 6 centers for the technical GCE with more than 350 registered. As at Day 2 of the exams, 50 candidates showed up for the exams. GHS Bafut on its part is hosting 8 centers with over 400 candidates expected to write at the center but only 79 candidates showed for the exams on Day 2. PSS Bafut hosts some 200 candidates and at the time The SUN visited them, less than 20 candidates had answered present for the exams. Security was present at centers with some men in uniform seen patrolling campuses with guns.
In Batibo, there are 3 ceenters; GHS Batibo, Guzang and Ogim writing centers. In GHS Batibo, 8 centers are hosted there with a turnout of 5-8% as an anonymous source revealed to The SUN. It was equally revealed to The SUN that the Guzang center which is host to 4 schools seem to be closed. This is because from information gathered from close sources, 2 out of over 300 candidates showed up for paper one on Day one and never returned for paper two. On Day two, 2 other candidates answered present but never returned for subsequent subjects. It is alleged that the candidates were threatened back home after writing the single subjects they did and hence, gave up.
Meanwhile in Ogim, The SUN gathered that 5 candidates answered present on Day one and since then, the number has not gone above 10 candidates per session. It is however, hoped that candidates who registered under these centers have traveled to write in other center where there is relative peace since the minister gave instructions that any candidate can write under any center.
This far, no center has received more than the number of candidates registered for centers in the Northwest region. A few cases have been reported of students who wanted to write when they had not registered like was the case in GBHS Atiela.
By WIFAH JENNYHANS NDE