By Mustapha Jallow
The Regional Education Director for Region (1), Alhajie Ousman Bah has on Friday, 17th July confirmed to Foroyaa that his office gave Ndow Comprehensive School the go-ahead to commence their exams.
Ndow’s School began their grade six (6) examinations on Thursday, 16th July 2020, but Claudiana Cole, the Minister of Education told the press on 15th July that she was not aware that Now’s was going to organize exams for their grade six pupils. The School authorities told Foroyaa that they were authorised to start their grade 6 exams by their regional education directorate.
Bah remarked: “We gave them the approval to sit for their exams. It’s at the regional level, so we don’t need to go to the Minister (of Education) to get the approval.’’
Bah said the Education Minister was not aware of the decision because it was a local agreement within the region (Kanifing Municipality).
He explained “What happened at Ndow’s is, they have an entrance exam for grade 7 (grade 6 students). It’s not only students at the school, but they invited other students who wanted to come to Ndow’s for grade 7th to sit the exam as well.’’
He added: “They came to me and informed me that they want to have an exam. I told them, this is COVID-19 period, let them go back and write to me (what they want to do and how they want to it). I also asked them to indicate the date and my officers will monitor the ground – and see whether they respect all the COVID-19 protocols,’’ he said.
Bah explained that Ndow’s then wrote to them to request for their students to sit their exams, which he added they also wrote back to them and indicated that they have been authorized to go ahead with their exams. He said the authorisation has conditions attached to it – as the School is required to respect the guidelines ‘each student will wear a face mask, wash their hands with soap and observe sanitary guidelines as well’.
He said: “Each class should have 15 students with their face masks and each student sits alone. We are also monitoring them to make sure they respect the protocols.’’
The region one director said it was only Ndow’s and Marina International School that were allowed to do their exams. He said Ndow’s students will have their next paper on 28th July 2020, adding he usually sends his officers on the ground to monitor whether the guidelines on COVID-19 are been implemented.
The Ministry was visited, but the reporter was told that the PS was in a meeting.