In viral videos on social media, some students were seen vandalizing school properties, insulting the President and destroying past questions procured for them by the government to aid in their preparation for their exams.

Regrettably, as their actions are, it is a reflection of our society, where discussions on national radio and television are full of insults, invectives and insinuations, while violence is becoming an acceptable norm of solving issues with opponents.

The grievances of the students are that the sitting arrangements in the exams hall were too spacious as part of measures to ensure social distancing due to COVID-19; and none of the past questions they solved came in the exams and invigilators were too strict on them.

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Since the incidents, many of the students who participated in the lawlessness have come out to apologise to the nation and the President for their actions.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has also taken disciplinary action by deboardinising and barring them from taking part in the WASSCE in their various schools.

While examinations are an important component of schooling, students need to know that education is not all about passing exams and that it is important for students to learn how to behave in society and develop new skills besides what is in their books.

Over the years, our education system has primarily focused on passing exams, to the detriment of moulding our young ones to be responsible in their conduct and actions and giving them new skillsets in the competitive work environment.

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Therefore, students invest the majority of their study time studying past questions and likely examination questions as one of the easiest routes to pass their exams.

Sadly, the nature of our education system does not give much room for students to adequately prepare for their exams, creating a sense that their only duty in school is to pass exams and graduate.

We at believe that the discourse around our secondary education needs to change. It needs to change from being too focused on examination to building the intellectual capacity and skills of students.

Students must be reoriented to understand that examination is only a part of their academic journey and that failing an exam or not adequately preparing for exams is not the end of the road.

There is an opportunity to rewrite the exams through WAEC’s private WASSCE exams, popularly called Nov/DEC.

Students must also be made to understand that there are two outcomes in sitting for an examination: passing or failing.

Failing an exam does not make one a bad student or shatter one’s academic progress. It could simply mean one was not adequately prepared and would need a much longer time to prepare.

It, therefore, behoves all of us as political leaders, parents, brothers and sisters, to let out younger ones understand that failing exams is not the end of the road to one’s progress in life.

Pulse Editorial is the opinion of the editorial team of Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the organization Pulse.