2018 exam catches GCE Board pants down

Queuing up with its already deleterious low registration and looming insecurity, this year’s 2018 General Certificate of Examination, GCE, examinations have also conveyed other tight spots which impeach the preparedness of its management team.
To that end, the normal OMR forms used in answering multiple choice questions, introduced some years back and,which had been serving all registered candidates from start to finish, turned out insufficient just after Day One of the examination.
In effect, students were asked to put down or identify the answers to the various questions on the question papers. Thinking that this would be done just for a day while the Board continues to make provision for the answer forms, students taking part in this year’s examination, especially in the Southwest in general and Buea in particular have been sitting in for Paper One of various subjects without the provision of the OMR form.
While candidates were still battling and bitterly complaining about the lack of the forms, on Thursday May 31 Ordinary Level physics candidates experienced an unpleasant ordeal. After passing a night of no sleep and with anxiousness to sit in for the next paper, the students were only told in the morning when they were about to write the physics ‘Paper One’ that the subject had been postponed because the papers had not yet arrived.
“What a flimsy excuse,” most of them lamented in disappointment, wondering if the GCE Board was actually ready to organize this year’s exam or it was a grope in the dark. Candidates The Rambler spoke with said that besides the socio-political tense environment against which they barely summoned courage to sit in for the exams, the GCE Board has worsened the circumstance by killing their morale about the exams. Insufficient OMR forms, late delivery of papers, and postponing the writing of certain papers to different days, greatly disturbed them and negatively affected their level of confidence on the exams.
Going by the students, in just four days of the exams, so much has already transpired as blunders from the board as they wonder how or what the rest of the days of writing will look like.
The ‘Catch 22’ here is that it is difficult to apportion blame, given that the new team took over from the Professor Abety Alange led Board only a few months back. Logistics for the examination some have opined, was supposed to have been in place months ahead, instead of the ad hoc operations that have now landed the otherwise credible institution in muddy waters.
By Relindise Ebune

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