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General News of Sunday, 20 June 2021

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

We need a bipartisan probe into the alleged leakage of WASCE exams - MP

Dr. Clement Apaak, MP, Builsa South Dr. Clement Apaak, MP, Builsa South

A Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament Dr. Clement Apaak has called for a bipartisan investigation into the alleged irregularities, and leakages of examination papers and related malpractice following the recent report released by policy think thank Education Watch Africa.

The probe he suggested must cover 2010-2020 to investigate the allegations which have characterised the West African Examination Council over their administrative role in organizing WASSCE.

According to him, such an investigation should make consequential recommendations to end examination question leakages in Ghana.

An investigation conducted by Education Think Tank, Africa Education Watch revealed that question papers for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) were leaked to candidates.

According to Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, these question papers were sent from West African Examinations Council’s (WAEC) IT department to other online platforms which were subsequently forwarded to his outfit by a member on the platform.

“WAEC confirmed the day after we blew the cover that indeed it had leaked from their headquarters and that they had instituted an internal inquiry. 10 months after the leakage, no one has informed us about the outcome of such an inquiry and whether it happened at all.

“But it leaked from the WAEC’s own IT department and it leaked unto a platform which was eventually forwarded to our assessment team by a member of that particular platform,” he added.

Reacting, Dr. Apaak stated that the Education Minister ought to let Ghanaians know what immediate steps he is taking to address the worrisome findings of the African Education Watch Independent Assessment Report of the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) 2020 administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

“Urgent action is required because WASSCE 2021 is just around the corner, slated to commence sometime in September. Will WASSCE 2021 see worse irregularities and malpractices or an improved integrity?

To him, “The integrity of the examinations our wards write must be of concern to us. The integrity of the certificates our wards receive must occupy our attention. The world is watching.”

Read the full statement

African Education Watch Independent Assessment Report On WASSCE 2020 and Matters Arising

The Minister for Education ought to let Ghanaians know what immediate steps he is taking to address the worrisome findings of the African Education Watch Independent Assessment Report on the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) 2020, administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

Urgent action is required because WASSCE 2021 is just around the corner, slated to commence sometime in September. Will WASSCE 2021 see worse irregularities and malpractices or an improved integrity? This will logically depend on whether or not the Minister, Ministry of Education, and WAEC will admit the findings of the Assessment Report and give effect to the recommendations made by African Education Watch.

The Assessment by the respected Education think tank uncovered massive and widespread irregularities and leakages of examination papers. As captured in the Report, two categories of irregularities occurred during the WAEC administered 2020 WASSCE: a) leakage in examiners’ contact details, which was unprecedented, and b) widespread leakage in some examination questions.

Yet, there is no information of any prosecutions, after assurances of investigations by WAEC and some initial arrests ten months ago. Ghanaians will like to see expedited action on criminal investigations and prosecutions into reported irregularities at 2020 WASSCE, especially the leakage of examiners’ contacts from WAEC’s headquarters, and the leakage of questions as admitted by WAEC.

Wrongdoing must be punished. Those profiting in the examination value chain, especially those who leaked the examiners’ details at WAEC’s headquarters must be sanctioned. I agree with African Education Watch that if no punitive action is taken against those whose deliberate actions compromised WASSCE 2020 now, the issue of having a leak-proof examination system will prove elusive to Ghana. By default, WASSCE 2021 is bound to witness even more irregularities, malpractices, and leakages if no one is punished for the same with WASSCE 2020.

A bipartisan investigation of irregularities, leakages of examination papers, and related malpractices, which have characterised WAEC administered WASSCE from 2010-2020 is necessary. Such an investigation should make consequential recommendations to end examination question leakages in Ghana. I will initiate moves in this regard.

The integrity of the examinations our wards write must be of concern to us. The integrity of the certificates our wards receive must occupy our attention. The world is watching.

Dr. Clement Apaak

M.P, Builsa South and Deputy Ranking Member, Committee on Education

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