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Home / Social Studies / Bece Past Questions & Answers – 2009 (SOCIAL STUDIES)

Bece Past Questions & Answers – 2009 (SOCIAL STUDIES)

APRIL 2009


1 hour

Answer three questions only, choosing one question from each section.
Credit will be given for clarity of expression and orderly presentation of material
All questions carry equal marks



Answer one question only from this part

1. (a) (b) What is a political party?

Outline four ways in which political parties are important in the practice of democracy


Mention two problems facing political parties in Ghana



What is human rights abuse?


State three reasons why people suffer human rights abuses

Explain four ways by which human rights abuses may be prevented.



Answer one question only from this part

3. (a) Describe the following terms:

(i) source
(ii) confluence (iii) tributary (iv) mouth

(b) In what four ways are rivers important in Ghana?

(c) State two ways by which our water bodies can be protected.

4. (a) Outline five features of the rain forest

State any five benefits of the rain forest



Answer one question only from this part

5. (a) (b) State four causes of high birth rate in Ghana.

In what four ways can high birth rate be reduced in Ghana?



What is human resource?


Explain three factors which can negatively affect human resource in Ghana

Describe four measures that can be taken to improve human resource in Ghana CLICK TO VIEW ANSWERS TO PART 2

APRIL 2009






1. (a) A political party
An organization that seeks to win and maintain political power within government
A group of people with similar ideas on how a nation should be governed and whose aim is to
win and maintain political power

Ways in which political parties are important in the practice of democracy
(i) They help to ensure good governance by the ruling government
(ii) They help with public education on various issues
(iii) They help to promote national unity
(iv) They train/ groom individuals for political leadership
(v) They help to bridge the communication gap between government and the people
(vi) They nominate and present candidates for general elections
[any four]

(c) Mention two problems facing political parties in Ghana
(i) Low financial strength (insufficient funds) (ii) Tribalism / ethnicity
(iii) Greediness /self-centredness of leaders and members
(iv) Disagreements and divisions among both leaders and members (factionalism) (v) Low supply of suitably qualified members for certain positions
(vi) Favouritism
(vii) High levels of illiteracy among grassroots membership
(viii) Corruption during party elections
[any two]

2. (a) What is human rights abuse?

The violation / breach of the rights and freedoms of an individual

(b) Reasons why people suffer human rights abuses
(i) Ignorance (lack of knowledge) of the individual
(ii) Fear of consequences
(iii) Illiteracy of the individual (iv) Intimidation by other party (v) Apathy of the individual (vi) Poverty of the individual
(vii) Lack of confidence in the arms of government
(viii) Discrimination based on gender, social class, disability, etc
(ix) Religious beliefs of individual/ society
(x) Irresponsibility of parents/ guardians
[any three ]

(c) Ways by which human rights abuses may be prevented. (i) Increased public education
Many people do not even know their human rights. The ignorance facilitates the abuse of
their rights by others. Education by government agencies and other bodies is therefore necessary to reduce the levels of abuse or even prevent it. The education must include
– what one‟s human rights are,
– how to prevent abuse of one‟s rights by others,
– steps to take in case of abuse
– measures to forestall future occurrences

(ii) Strengthening of our democratic and governmental institutions and agencies Institutions such as DOVVSU, CHRAJ, the Ghana Police Service and the law courts must be strengthened, equipped and empowered to deal with human rights abuse cases more effectively and swiftly.

(iii) Improving access to both formal and non-formal education
The high levels of illiteracy also contribute to the general ignorance of human rights. Where people are able to read and understand text on their own, it facilitates quicker and easier gaining of knowledge of human rights and other issues. It is therefore necessary to improve access to both formal and non-formal education.

(iv) Modification of cultural practices which tend to infringe on human rights
Certain cultural practices or aspects of them that infringe on human rights must be either changed or modified. Some of these practices are puberty rites, widowhood rites, forced marriages, female genital mutilation, etc. Certain aspects, of these practices, which are painful, shameful, humiliating or dehumanising must be either stopped or modified to more acceptable forms, which do not infringe on one‟s human rights

(v) Greater involvement of religious / traditional society

Religious bodies and traditional leaders must come together to address / modify certain practices in their religions or culture which tend to infringe on the fundamental rights of members or even non-members. They should also help with the public campaign against human right abuse, since their followers take their word more seriously.

(vi) Prompt reporting of abuse cases to the appropriate institutions
People who have been abused, their families, friends, the media and society in general must cultivate the habit of reporting human rights abuse cases promptly. This would stop further abuse and prevent future occurrence if the right measures are taken.

(vii) Prompt prosecution and punishment of offenders
Offenders, who are caught, should be promptly made to face the full rigours of the law.
This should serve as a deterrent to others and hence prevent further similar abuses in future.

(viii) Poverty alleviation (or wealth creation) programmes for the people
As a result of poverty, many people suffer in silence as their human rights are abused regularly, since they may not have the money to even take the necessary measures. There is therefore the need to run more wealth creation projects in order for people to come out of poverty and gain financial and social freedom [any four]



3. (a) Description of the following terms: (i) Source
the original point from which the river flows
the starting point of a river

(ii) Confluence
The meeting place of two rivers or streams
Where a river (or stream) joins another river

(iii) Tributary
A stream (or river) that joins a larger stream (or river)

(iv) Mouth
The place where a stream or river enters a sea or lake

(b) Ways in which rivers are important in Ghana
[any four]

(i) Means of Transportation
-Canoes, boats, ferries, etc are used to transport persons and goods on certain rivers.

(ii) Source of water for domestic purposes
– People fetch water from rivers for domestic uses, such as bathing, cooking, washing, and drinking. The Ghana Water Company also gets water from our rivers for treatment and supply as potable water

(iii) Source of water for industrial purposes
– Certain industries rely on water from rivers for some of their industrial operations

(iv) Source of food (fish / protein)
– Fishermen in Ghana obtain fish from our rivers

(v) Source of employment
– Rivers provide employment and therefore income both directly and indirectly to people such as fishermen, tour guides, Volta River Authority workers, farmers, etc.

(vi) Generation of hydroelectric power
– The Akosombo dam generates electricity for the entire country using water from the Volta River. The Bui dam, also for generation of hydroelectric power is still under construction.

(vii) Tourist attraction sites
– Certain rivers serve as tourist attractions, which help to generate income and foreign exchange for the country.

(viii) Irrigation of farmlands
– In areas where there is little or no rainfall, farmers rely on river to water their crops

(ix) Drainage system to prevent flooding
– When rain falls, the water runs into gutters / drains, which carry them into rivers. This prevents flooding of communities.

(x) Habitat for aquatic organisms
– Several organisms and micro organisms in the ecosystem live in various rivers

(xi) Source of minerals
– Certain rivers have mineral deposits in them, eg, alluvial gold in Rivers Birim, Pra and
Offin, alluvial diamond in the Birim River .

(xii) Helps in rain formation
– Large amounts of water vapour in the atmosphere come from water evaporation from the surface of rivers. The water vapour rises higher, becomes cooler, condenses and falls as rain.

(c) Ways by which our water bodies can be protected.
(i) Planting many trees along the river banks
(ii) Government agencies ensuring that people / industries do not pollute the rivers by throwing waste into them.
(iii) Intensifying public education on the need to protect our rivers and how to do it.
(iv) Legislation – making and enforcing laws to prevent river pollution and indiscriminate cutting of trees.
[any two]

4. (a) Features of the rain forest
(i) The trees are arranged in 3 layers – top, middle and lower storeys. (ii) The trees have buttress roots that hold them firmly in the ground (iii) The trees are evergreen throughout the year
(iv) The top storey trees are tall and have inter-locking canopies that block sunlight from reaching the lower parts of the forest
(v) The middle storey trees are of medium height and have thick trunks, and many branches and leaves
(vi) The lower storey consist of shorter trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants
(vii) Dead leaves, branches and fungi are common in the undergrowth
(viii) There are many ferns, mosses, parasitic plants and woody climbers which twist around the trees
(ix) The rain forest supports the cultivation of crops like cocoa and timber, and also serves as
habitat for several wild animals
[any five]

(b) Benefits of the rain forest
(i) Provides timber, which serves as raw material for both local and foreign wood industries
(ii) The nation obtains foreign exchange from the export of timber, which is gotten from the rain forest.
(iii) Raw materials for the crafts industry, eg, cane for basket weaving.
(iv) Most of the trees are use for medicinal purposes (as herbs)
(v) Serves as a habitat for wild animals and other living organisms
(vi) Serves as a protection for some rivers – keeps them from drying up
(vii) Source of food – some trees produce fruits and leaves which are edible. (viii) Supports the cultivation of some crops, such as cocoa, rubber, etc
(ix) Provides employment for timber merchants, farmers, herbalists, etc
(x) Supports the tourism industry – Serves as tourist attractions sites

(xi) Provides wood for energy – firewood and charcoal
[any five]



5. (a) Causes of high birth rate in Ghana. (i) Early marriage (usually of girls) (ii) Poverty
(iii) Ignorance of dangers of unplanned child bearing
(iv) Extra-marital sexual relationships
(v) Ineffective family planning programmes
(vi) Discomfort with the usage of contraceptives
(vii) Teenage pregnancy
(viii) High fertility rate
(ix) Rejection of family planning and birth control measures
(x) Polygamy (the practice of having more than one marriage partner at the same time) (xi) The satisfaction and prestige from having a large family
(xii) Wrong application of birth control measures
(xiii) Idleness of the youth due to unemployment or productive recreational centres.
[any four]

(b) Ways in which high birth rate can be reduced in Ghana?
(i) Intensification of the girl-child education campaign
(ii) Setting up of wealth creation projects
(iii) Public education on unplanned parenting must be intensified
(iv) Married couples must be encouraged to stay faithful
(v) Family planning programmes must be reviewed regularly to make them more effective
(vi) Couples should try other contraceptives, under professional guidance, if they have problems with the ones they use.
(vii) Religious and moral education in schools must be intensified
(viii) Parent must get closer to their children, especially girls, in order to know and address the personal challenges they may be facing
(ix) Couples must be more open and willing to accept family planning methods. (x) Polygamy must be discouraged as much as possible
(xi) Religious and traditional bodies must help to change the societal perception on large family size
(xii) Rural developmental projects must be intensified.
(xiii) Sex education (including Reproductive health education) in schools and at home must be encouraged
(xiv) Provision of some sort of incentives to smaller sized families [any four]

6. (a) What is human resource?
The skills, abilities and knowledge of human population which can be employed to do a
particular work
The human population who have certain skills and knowledge, who can be /are employed to work.

Factors which can negatively affect human resource in Ghana

(i) Undemocratic leadership /administrative style
– The non-involvement of workers in policy and decision-making could create a
sense of apathy (lack of concern) in workers, which make them less diligent at work.

(ii) Accidents, epidemics and natural disasters
– These could compel workers and prospective workers to lose precious working hours which could have been used for something productive. They can also cause deaths, and hence a reduction of the needed human resource for production.

(iii) Unfair wages and salaries
– Wages and salaries that are not equitable (with respect to the work people), discourage workers from putting in their best.

(iv) Lack of award schemes
– The absence of award schemes make workers feel that their works are not appreciated / recognized. This could demoralize and discourage them from working diligently.

(v) Lack of efficient working tools
– Where workers do not use adequately efficient tools for their work, work becomes more difficult and boring. This could make workers lose interest in the work and hence become less productive.

(vi) Inadequate security and welfare schemes.
– The lack of adequate security and welfare could make workers harbour fears for the future and hence lose concentration on their work
(vii) Nepotism
– Preferential treatment for someone or some people is not healthy for human resource development. It can make the others develop hatred both for the giver(s) and receiver(s), apathy, and disinterest in the workplace, all of which does not augur well for the work environment.

(viii) Insufficient job opportunities
– Lack of job opportunities makes people idle. They tend to forget all they have learnt and lose their skills. The idleness may even cause them to indulge in social vices, such as armed robbery, drug abuse, etc, which may have disastrous consequences.

(ix) Inadequate in-service training
– Inadequate in-service training makes human resource stuck with what they know, which may actually be obsolete (out-of-date). Their knowledge stagnates and their skills decline. This eventually negatively affects their productivity.

(x) Lack of effective monitoring and supervision
– Lack of effective monitoring and supervision makes workers tend to relax on the work they have to do. The more they relax the less skilful and inefficient they become. This makes them less productive.

(xi) Low quality of education
– When people are not given the right quality of education, they are less knowledgeable, less skilful and do not possess the right attitude for the kinds of work they may have to do.

(xii) Poor working conditions
– Poor conditions at work are a disincentive for workers. They may therefore be unable to give off their best.

(xiii) Lack of opportunities for further studies
– Lack of opportunities for further studies does not motivate workers to give off their best.
[any three]

(c) Measures that can be taken to improve human resource in Ghana

(i) Training and retraining
– Staff of institutions and other bodies must be given in-service training on a continuous basis in order to update their knowledge, sharpen their skills and positively improved their work attitudes. This would promote efficiency and higher productivity.

(ii) High quality and specialized education
– Students must be educated in specialized areas that are relevant to the current economic environment, rather than being given mere classical and theoretical lessons/lectures, which may not be beneficial enough to them nor to the nation.

(iii) Improved working conditions

– The conditions under which employees work should be significantly improved in order to bring out the best in them. These conditions include the physical, social and political (work policies) environments

(iv) Opportunities for further studies
Organization must create opportunities, scholarship schemes and sponsorships for further studies for their staff based on specified criteria. These would greatly motivate workers to work harder in order to meet the criteria for sponsorship or scholarship awards.

(v) Availability of job opportunities
There is the need for the government and other bodies to create more job opportunities for school leavers. This will enable them to practice what they have learnt, in order to gain experience and perfect their skills.

(vi) Effective monitoring and supervision
Managements of institutions must ensure effective and regular supervision, monitoring, assessment and evaluation. This would keep workers on their toes and motivate them to work more diligently.

(vii) Equitable wages and salaries
It is vital for workers to be paid fair wages and salaries. In this regard, managements should consider paying workers based on performance, rather than on a general basis. If done, this will surely encourage hardworking staff to work even harder and the lazy ones to sit up and work more efficiently.

(viii) Security and welfare services
Every worker desires a certain level of both job and financial security. It is important therefore that worker be given security and welfare services, such as social security scheme, life / fire / motor insurance, staff welfare packages, etc. This helps to put workers‟ minds at ease, and therefore the peace of mind to focus on their work.

(ix) Award Schemes
As social beings, we all want to be given the recognition where it is due. Institutions in order to further motivate their staff, should consider setting up various award and reward schemes. The selection of winners must be done in the most transparent and objective manner possible, in order to maintain the credibility of the scheme. This should help to inspire workers to put in more for higher productivity.

(x) Use of efficient working tools
In recent times, there has been an emphasis that for greater productivity, there is the need to work smarter, rather than working harder. This simply stresses the need for using efficient modern tools / technology to produce more in less time. Workers using efficient working tools would do more work, as they would enjoy putting in relatively less effort and having
greater output.
[any four]

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