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General News of Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Source: happyghana.com

Monopoly of WAEC must be broken – Clement Apaak

MP for Builsa South Constituency, Dr. Clement Abas Apaak MP for Builsa South Constituency, Dr. Clement Abas Apaak

Member of Parliament (MP) for the Builsa South Constituency and ranking member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, Dr. Clement Apaak has supported calls for the establishment of other examination bodies to compete with the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

He noted that breaking the monopoly of WAEC is a necessary evil as it will help check the rising incidence of examination leaks in recent times.

“WAEC enjoys some form of monopoly and that must be broken. It is true that WAEC is the only institution that administers external examinations for the basic and secondary levels of education and we need to break that and open up the playing field,” he told Happy FM's Samuel Eshun.

He advised that with the desire to break this monopoly also comes the responsibility to sanitize the system.

The lawmaker believes if other institutions are created to complement WAEC “without a clear system, then we have only created other institutions to be infected.”

He further disclosed that the Parliamentary Select Committee on education is yet to meet after the report of the Africa Education Watch was released and argues the committee will address the matter as a matter of urgency.

Background

Education policy group, Africa Education Watch, wants the government of Ghana to take steps to break the monopoly enjoyed by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in assessing students and conducting examinations in Ghana by regulating the powers of the council.

This is part of twelve recommendations proffered by the education think tank after conducting a research into the 2020 WASSCE.

Presenting a report on the research, Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, said independent international examining bodies should be involved in the examination and assessment space as a good way to promote healthy competition in the examination space.

“The Education Ministry must set up a regulator of assessment to regulate WAEC and other assessment bodies before their activities become ungovernable. We need to break the WAEC monopoly. WAEC operates in other countries, but they do not have a monopoly in Nigeria, for instance.

“There are about six or five internationally reputable assessment bodies in Ghana who have been conducting examination every year and no one hears of any leakages, we need to give them an opportunity to participate in the exam sector, bring in various assessments that they use in assessing so that WAEC will compete and when competition comes in, we believe that WAEC will adopt technologies that will reduce the human involvement or human element which is one of the key reasons why there is leakage.”

He also pushed for broader restructing in the external examination ecosystem lest certificates by WAEC lose relevance at a point.

“We think that our assessment system needs to be restructured and made credible and accountable, or it will get to a point where our certificates would lose relevance. If we do not prosecute people who engage in such criminal conducts, we will never be sending any signal to the practitioners within the ‘apor’ value chain,” he added.

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