President John Dramani Mahama has in an expression of government’s disappointment over the constant leakage of examination papers, asked the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), to put its house in order to protect the integrity of its work.
The president’s comment follows the recent reported leakage of at least three papers in this year’s ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Reports on Wednesday revealed that some students in the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions had access to the examination papers between 12:00am midnight and 4:00a.m on the day the papers were written.
The papers that allegedly leaked included Oral English, Integrated Science paper and Social Studies. There were also pictures on social media showing students copying answers. Speaking about the latest incident at a ceremony to open a new hostel facility at the University of Mines (UMaT) in Tarkwa, the President stated emphatically that government was disappointed in WAEC.
According to the president, WAEC had assured government that it was putting in place measures to avoid such incidences, following last year’s leakage in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
He thus found it disappointing that the incident has reoccurred. He has thus called on the council to put its house in order to protect the integrity of the exams. “The Council is an independent international body and so government cannot interfere in its operational affairs.
But the government wishes to call on the Wes African Exams Council to put its house in order.
It is most discouraging when students have prepared assiduously for three solid years only to be confronted with incidences of exam leakages.”
He however noted that Government could not interfere in the operational affairs of WAEC as an independent international body.
“Last year in the BECE exam, the BNI was called to investigate an examination leakage; two people were indicted and are currently being prosecuted. WAEC’s own internal investigations led to the dismissal of three WAEC officials. WAEC informed government that it was going to conduct reforms in its exam preparations; we are therefore disappointed at news of a possible leak in the WASSCE.”
BNI to investigate new leak
The president says he has ordered the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to assist the council expose and bring to bring those responsible for the latest leak. “We therefore urge WAEC to urgently work to do away with all loopholes to protect the integrity of the exams. And I have asked the BNI to help WAEC and deal drastically with anybody found to be involved in this negative practice.”
Leaked papers won’t be cancelled
Meanwhile the West African Examination Council (WAEC) has served notice the leaked papers will not be cancelled as has been done in previous years. A statement signed by Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, WAEC’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs said “the papers already written will not be cancelled. She said the remaining papers will be taken as scheduled and investigations will continue and persons found culpable will be appropriately sanctioned.”
Break WAEC’s monopoly
Some teacher unions like NAGRAT have suggested the scrapping of the WASSCE system so Ghana can hold its own exams supervised by an independent body.
A policy and research Think Tank, VIAM Africa Centre for Education and Social Policy, which has called for heads to roll at WAEC, has also suggested the setting up of an alternative independent exam body which is the case in Nigeria to break WAEC’s monopoly, and ultimately stimulate competition and quality.