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General News of Friday, 3 November 2000

Source: GNA

Examination malpractices are increasing in West Africa

In general, examination malpractices are on the increase in the West African sub-region, the Committee on Examination Malpractice reported in its findings released on Thursday.

The report was on the extent of cheating on examinations by secondary school students and strategies to prevent it. It recommended that sanctions be stiffened and widened to deter offenders from indulging in such practices.

Prof. Divine E. Amenume, Chairman of the committee, said students are devising more complex means to cheat during examinations. He urged the authorities to step in and stop the situation from getting out of hand. "There is no statistic readily at hand to prove this, but no matter how small we think our records are, we should not pride ourselves with it.

"The committee considers examination to be a very crucial aspect of the teaching and learning process... anything that compromises the validity of examination results has to be taken seriously," he said.

Currently, students found cheating are barred from taking the examination for three years and fined between 20,000 and 500,000 cedis. Amenume said this is woefully inadequate to serve as a deterrent against students cheating on examinations.

Prof. Chris Ameyaw-Akumfi, Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, urged the public to co-operate with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to address the issue.

He advised parents not to buy stolen examination questions for their children. He commended the committee for its dedication and hard work and assured it that the recommendations will receive the necessary attention.

Over the past few years, the Registrar of the WAEC and the Heads of State of the member states, including President Jerry Rawlings have discussed the problem