GCE2017 Witnesses Low Turnout Amidst Tight Security In Bamenda

very few candidates turn up for the examination

Campus of GBHS Bamenda Down Town this morning[/caption]

Candidates started sitting in for the written part of the June 2017 session of the GCE Board examination in all 10 regions of the country with special security measures put in place in "unified-accommodation" centres in the Northwest and Southwest regions due to the ongoing Anglophone crisis in the country.

In Bamenda, candidates took the exams in four special centres of GBHS Down Town,  GBHS Bamenda,  GBHS Bamendakwe and GTHS Bamenda. At GBHS Down Town, a total of 1244 in the General Exams and 184 in the Technical GCE are sitting for the Examination. This total numer of candidates are from 16 centres, including big centres like PCHS Mankon, St Federic College and GBHS Down Town. Examination officials who refused to make any declaration to an anxiously waiting press said they could not with any certainty give accurate figures of the candidates that had effectively turn up for today's session.

At GBHS Bamenda, Ntamulung, officials there said the centre was accommodating candidates from eight different centres. 273 candidates were confirmed for O/L Economics, 148 turn up and 46 were absent. For Advanced level Economics, 197 candidates indicated to sit for the examination there, 91 were present this morning and 78 candidates were absent. For O/L Economics in the Technical GCE, 16 registered, 10 turn up and six absences were recorded. A/L technical also registered similar figures with on 11 of the 23 candidates that registered for Economics caring to show up. Huge absences were also recorded in geology and O/L engineering.

Security was heavy at these centres with the police and gendarmes guarding the entrances and taking up positions in the campus.

very few candidates turn up for the examination

Today was Ghost Town Day in Bamenda making it difficult for many candidates commute


Some candidates who mustered the courage to talk to Bamenda Online said the examination was within their reach and felt secured with the heavy troop presence. They however acknowledged that most of their mates were not writing. One candidate in particular said she was not writing out of her own volition but due to the pressure of her father who had insisted over and over that she wrote the exams.

Ordinary level candidate sat in for economic paper one in the morning session and paper II in the afternoon session, while Advanced Level candidates sat for Economics and Geology in the morning and afternoon sessions. The GCE Board following instructions from the minister of Secondary Education has adjusted the time for the afternoon session which will begin at 1pm instead of 2 pm as in previous examinations.

Organizing and running the GCE examinations entails huge logistical preparation, plaining and execution but it was not the case this time around as the Board was pushed and forced to admit candidates up to this day, provoking some anglophone who see it as government’s move to undermined the credibility of the certificate to continue to call for a boycott. None of the candidates turn up today in their official school uniform, one of the recommendations of the minister of Secondary education. Another difficulty for the candidates was getting a means of transport to the centre as today was declared a ghost town in Bamenda, making movement of people very difficult. Others have likened this GCE as the  “political GCE” Early this morning, some candidates came in late at GBHS Down Town and insisted to write the exams, saying they have been to other centres but could not find their names. The police were helpless in the face of it and examination officials were forced to accommodate them, close to an hour after the others had started. The exams would run for three weeks.

By Abongwa Fozo and Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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