2014 WASSCE Candidates In Trouble As 3 Varsities Deny Them Admission

The fate of at least 150,000 candidates of this year�s West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) who may seek admission to public universities hangs in the balance. This is because some of the public universities have decided not to offer admission to applicants who will write the WASSCE this year. The University of Cape Coast (UCC), the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi have indicated their intention not to offer admission to such applicants. According to them, by the time the results of the 2014 WASSCE would be released, they would have closed their admissions. However, the Ministry of Education has given an assurance that the candidates will not be denied admission to the public universities of their choice. According to a Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education, Mr Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, all public universities were supposed to reserve quotas for those who would write the WASSCE this year. Therefore, he said, the deadline given by the universities for submission of application forms was not applicable to those who would be writing this year. The UCC deadline for submission of applications is April 30, 2014; that of the KNUST is April 11, while the UMaT has March 21, 2014 as its deadline. Although the University of Ghana has indicated that it will wait for applicants who will write the WASSCE this year to apply for its degree programmes, it has set April 11, 2014 as the deadline for the submission of application forms by qualified applicants to its diploma and certificate programmes. Explanations Some officials of the universities have proffered explanations as to why the universities have decided not to admit applicants who will apply with this year�s WASSCE results. A Deputy Registrar (Academic) of the UCC, Mr Jeff Onyame, told the Daily Graphic that the university would not admit applicants with 2014 WASSCE results, reports Shirley Asiedu Addo. He explained that the university�s admission process would close even before final-year senior high school (SHS) students finished their examination. �They cannot fill the application forms without their results and so they cannot be admitted, not for this year,� he said. Mr Onyame said last year, the university gave an opportunity to those who were yet to obtain their WASSCE results to apply because of the number of candidates who wrote the examination. �Last year the last batch of the four-year system and the first batch of the three year system were graduating and, therefore, arrangements were made to manage the two batches. This year, it will not work like that,� he stated. KNUST The story from KNUST is no different. The University Relations Officer of KNUST, Mr Vincent Ankamah-Lomotey, told the Daily Graphic that the university would not allow candidates writing the 2014 WASSCE to apply for admission to the university, reports Baffoe Joe Donkor. He said the university allowed candidates awaiting WASSCE results to apply last year because of the two cohorts of students of SHS who had to write the examination last year. With the four-year SHS system phased out, he said, the universities had to revert to the old system in which universities reopened in August or early September. He said when two streams of applicants were allowed to apply for admission to the universities, it �puts too much pressure on the students, as they cannot have the full 16 weeks first semester course�. Mr Ankamah-Lomotey said by June this year, the university would have completed its admission processes and sent letters to the qualified applicants to give them enough time to prepare. The University of Ghana At the University of Ghana, Mr Mawusi Kofi Glozah, the Assistant Registrar, Academic Affairs Directorate, told the Daily Graphic that this year�s WASSCE candidates would be able to apply for the university�s degree programmes, writes Edmund Smith Asante. He explained that the deadline for the submission of applications for the degree programmes was likely to be June 30, as happened last year. He said 2014 WASSCE candidates awaiting their results would be permitted to apply for admission, adding that �for the past three years that is what we have been doing�. UDS While the KNUST, the UMaT and the UCC are not ready to admit 2014 WASSCE candidates, the University for Development Studies (UDS) has offered to continue to implement the programme which provides a lifeline for such applicants, reports Samuel Duodu. According to Mr Samuel Awugah, the Assistant Registrar of University Relations, 2014 WASSCE candidates could apply for admission to the university. He stated that the university's admission for undergraduate programmes would be carried out in September and, therefore, the current final-year SHS students could buy the admission forms of the university while awaiting their results.