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Free SHS products shine in 2020 WASSCE – 411 Score 8 A1s

Four hundred and eleven pioneer students of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy who wrote the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) scored Grade A1 in all eight subjects.

They were among 465 WASSCE candidates in the sub-region who scored 8A1s.

The remaining 54 who scored 8A1s are from Nigeria, while the other three countries could not produce a candidate with 8A1s.

Best in six years

The performance is a vast improvement over the 2019 performance where 220 candidates had 8A1s.

Commenting on the performance of the candidates, the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, said the overall performance was not surprising because “2020 is the only year in the past six years that more than 50 per cent of candidates obtained A1-C6 in all core subject areas.”

Speaking on the International Excellence Award, he explained that, “on the strength of the basic criteria of eight grade A1s without any hint of impropriety, 465 candidates, made up of 411 from Ghana and 54 from Nigeria, qualified for the Excellence Awards for 2020 as against 220 candidates in 2019”.

“It gives us hope that if you set yourself up to do something with the right resources and determination you will get the needed results,” he added.


Prof. Opoku-Amankwa listed some of the efforts the government put into achieving the impressive performance of the candidates to include the various interventions, particularly the provision of the teaching and learning materials and the teacher motivation fees.

“We also bore all the costs that come with secondary education including school fees, examination fees, feeding fees, teacher motivation fees, among others,” the Director-General added.

Others, he said, included mathematics and science training for teachers, provision of core textbooks for all students, core subject teacher training, intervention grants to teachers, remedial packages delivered to all students and support for low performing schools.

Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said all students in the boarding house were fed three square meals while the day students were given one hot meal a day.

Criteria for the award

The criteria for the award are open to only candidates with a minimum of eight Grade A1s at one sitting, without any hint of impropriety.

The raw scores of the eligible candidates are converted to T-scores and used to rank the candidates.

In the event of time, the T-scores of the candidates in their common subjects (English and Mathematics) are used.

Where there is still a tie, the raw scores of the candidates in the core subjects are used and in the event of a further tie, the T-scores of the best of the candidates remaining core subjects are used.

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