General News of Sunday, 10 February 2013
Source: Daily Graphic
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has asked the Ghana Education Service (GES) to take disciplinary action against 28 heads of senior high schools (SHSs), supervisors and invigilators for their actions and inaction that led to examination malpractices in the May/June 2012 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Already, 3,411 candidates in the May/June 2012 WASSCE have been sanctioned for their involvement in examination malpractices. Out of the number, 1,123 candidates were caught taking foreign materials into the examination hall, 127 were found to have been involved in collusion reported by supervisors, while 2,003 collusions were detected in the scripts of the candidates.
According to a report on the trends of malpractices released by WAEC, there were some heads of SHSs, supervisors and invigilators who played various roles resulting in examination malpractices.
In 2009, 17 heads of senior high schools, supervisors and invigilators played various roles leading to examination malpractices, while in 2011, 30 of them were engaged in acts resulting in examination malpractices.
In 2012, the number of heads, supervisors and invigilators who aided and abetted in examination malpractices was 28.
The council has submitted the names of the heads and other examination officials to the GES for sanction.
The GES has also confirmed to the Daily Graphic receipt of the recommendation from WAEC. The Head of Public Relations of the GES, Mr Charles Parker-Allotey, said he was, however, not privy to any disciplinary action taken against the culprits yet.
A major challenge faced by WAEC over the years is the incidence of malpractices in the conduct of its examinations. In spite of efforts put in place by the council, the GES and other stakeholders, it has been difficult to reduce the occurrence of malpractices in the examination to the barest minimum.
As a means of drawing stakeholders’ attention to the problem of examination malpractice and solicit their support in addressing it, the Ghana National Committee of WAEC, at its meeting held on November 7 and 8 , 2012, endorsed the recommendation that information on the cases of malpractice be published in the national dailies.
According to the Head of Public Affairs of WAEC, Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, it was expected that the publication would trigger discussion of the issue and possibly find a solution to the problem.
“We want to name and shame and at the same time get public support to deal with the canker of examination malpractice,” she said.
The WAEC’s report said the incidence of malpractice cases in the May-June 2012 WASSCE indicated that the number of 3,411 candidates sanctioned for their involvement in examination malpractices did not include 149 other candidates of the Wa Senior High School who at the time of the publication of the trend reports, were still being investigated for allegedly assaulting an invigilator.
According to the statistics by WAEC, there were also 132 unqualified candidates. Eighteen candidates were involved in irregular activities inside and outside the examination hall, two impersonations and assault on an examination official, while five other candidates failed to provide full personal details on their scripts.
“The number of candidates sanctioned for possessing foreign materials in the examination halls, however, increased significantly from 447 in 2011 to 1,123 candidates in 2012. These included candidates who were caught with mobile phones on them.
“Collusion still remained the most prevalent type of malpractice found among school candidates. Apart from 127 candidates that were caught by supervisors, invigilators and WAEC inspectors for collusion during the conduct of the examination, 2003 others were caught by examiners and checkers during the marking and scripts checking exercises,” the council said.
Schools, the council said, continued to register candidates who were not their bona fide students, adding that “how they (schools) managed to get the continuous assessment scores for the candidates still remain a mystery”.
On the sanctions meted out to candidates, 87 of the candidates had their entire results cancelled, while three others had their entire results cancelled and subsequently banned from writing WAEC’s examination for two years. A total of 3,189 candidates also had their subject results cancelled.
“The major sanction meted out to candidates found culpable in the cases of malpractice over the period was the cancellation of their subject results. From 74.33 per cent in 2009, it rose to 92 in 2011 and 93.49 per cent in 2012,” the council said.
The 2012 WAEC examination was conducted from April 2 to May 17, 2012 for candidates in approved senior high schools. A total of 174,323 candidates entered for the examination and the actual number of candidates who wrote the papers was 173,655.