As Ghanaian children in the final year of Basic Education gear up to write the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) next week, Parliament has expressed concern about the disabled among the candidates.
It has therefore questioned the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, measures put in place to ensure that examination halls were disability friendly.
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase on Friday asked the sector Minister, Madam Otiko Djaba, what steps the Ministry was taking to ensure that the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) building in Kumasi was disability friendly.
Answering, Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba, the sector Minister said the WAEC Centre in Kumasi was commissioned in July 1993, at a time when disability issues were not on the front burner.
She said the Centre had located the examination hall and the office of the Controller, on the ground floor for easy access by Persons with Disability; and the officials at WAEC have also indicated that portions at the entrance where there was an elevation of 2-3 inches onto the veranda will be levelled to make it more accessible.
According to the Minister, the Ministry launched the Ghana Accessibility Standard for the building environment in 2015 to ensure universal accessibility.
She said all relevant institutions like the Ministries of Works and Housing, Roads; Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority were engaged to enforce the inclusion of that provision in Ghana’s building regulations to become a requirement in construction.
“The National Council on Persons with Disability under my direction held meetings with officials at the WAEC headquarters on the need to make their facilities accessible to Persons with Disabilities.
“The WAEC office will be provided with a copy of the Ghana Accessibility for the building environment to guide the redesign of the existing buildings and news ones under construction.
Madam Djaba assured the nation that the Ministry would monitor the situation at the WAEC Centre in Kumasi to ensure that the entrance work was done in the shortest possible time.
“Again, we are collaborating with key institutions to ensure that the provisions in the Standard are implemented, “the Minister said.
Meanwhile, the WAEC has released the Official Time table for the 2018 BECE.
The examination is expected to begin on Monday June 4, 2018 and end on Friday June 8, 2018.
The details of the Time Table would be as follow: Monday June 4, English Language and Religious and Moral Education; Tuesday, June 5, Integrated Science and Basic Design and Technology (BDT); Wednesday, June 6, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and French, Thursday, June 7, Mathematics and Ghanaian Language and Friday, June 8, Social Studies.