The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has alleged that the return of final year Senior High School (SHS) students to school was part of an “illegal” scheme to assemble the students for voter registration.
The NDC’s Director of Elections, Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah at a press briefing today in Accra contended that the decision also contravenes the law which mandates the Electoral Commission to gazette a designated polling centre for 21 days.
“We (the NDC) remind the EC that according to C.I. 91 they are required to gazette a designated polling centre for 21 days. In the absence of that, any so-called registration centre, be it in a school or elsewhere is illegal,” Mr Afriyie Ankrah said.
“It is true that the EC was quick to refer to their mandate as prescribed by CI 91 but they conveniently left out portions of the same CI that compels them to gazette for a defined number of days.
“We refer you, ladies and gentlemen to Regulation 2, Paragraph 3 of the CI 91: “The Commission shall at least twenty-one days before the first day of the national registration of voters, inform political parties and the general public by publication in the Gazette of a place it designates as a registration centre”.
Unfair exposure to COVID-19
Mr Ankrah said it was curious that while parents were not allowed to visit their wards on campus, EC officials, security personnel and party agents were allowed to move freely in all schools.
He said many Civil Society Organisations and health experts had already advised the government against re-opening the schools but the government still went ahead because of “the hope of winning the election at all cost”.
On March 20, 2020, WAEC had to suspend the WASSCE timetable and put on hold the conduct of the examination until further notice in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that is wreaking havoc globally, including WAEC member countries.
In April, WAEC received a request from the Ghana Education Service (GES) for the council to take the necessary steps to facilitate the writing of the WASSCE for candidates in Ghana.
On Sunday, May 31, 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced a schedule for the reopening of schools, from the tertiary to basic levels, to allow all-final year students to complete their programmes and write their exit examinations.
Final-year students in SHS returned to school on June 22, 2020, after almost three months at home, to prepare for the WASSCE.