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General News of Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Source: Class FM

Lack of integrity cause of exam cheating – Prof. Adei

A former rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Professor Stephen Adei, has bemoaned the extent of decay in Ghana’s educational system and called for an overhaul to rescue the sector.

His call follows the latest revelation by the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) that it had cancelled the results of some 1,576 candidates in the 2016 WASSCE examinations, mainly due to malpractices. Results of candidates from 85 senior high schools have also been withheld.

Prof Adei, speaking to Class News on Wednesday August 10, said the trend was worrying and suggested teaching and examining processes be changed.

“This is far more serious than meets the eye. In the first place, this is not the first year this is happening. Despite attempts to say the BECE was OK, all it means was that, things were not reported. We know that everywhere, this cheating is going on. Recently, I was speaking to some university students and I asked about 800 of them how many of them had never cheated in their examinations and I didn’t have more than 10 per cent raise their hands. So, we have a very serious national [issue] which is touching the very fabric of our society. These things are being done in connivance with parents, educational authorities, invigilators, and all, and that is what is very worrisome,” he stated.

According to Prof Adei, the rising absence of integrity, among other factors, was the cause of cheating in examinations.

“…First is that across the board I think the level of integrity and transparency and accountability in society has gone down. The second is universities are limited and the competition is high and so people want to beat the competition, unfortunately not through hard work but through foul means. The third, I think, has to do with the way we are teaching and examining, therefore, it is easy for people to cheat. The fact is that we must change the way we examine people and teach people. But at the end of the day, it is a matter of integrity in the society which is really going down and this is a reflection of it,” he noted.

In Prof Adei’s opinion, a lot has not been done over the years to curtail the trend.

“I don’t think much is being done to curtail it. First of all we are not changing the way we are teaching the student, we are not changing the way we conduct examination. When this happens, the collaborators from WAEC, the teachers, the parents are dealt with kid gloves…so they will continue to do so. My personal perception is that we are not doing enough to deal with this and if we do not do so, it will undermine the integrity of our educational system,” the academic warned.

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