The Minority in Parliament has filed a private members’ motion for the House to set up a bi-partisan committee to probe alleged irregularities and leakages of exams conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in the last 10 years.
According to the sponsors of the motion, as the years go by, issues of leakages and misconduct during WAEC examinations have heightened; thus, it is time the people’s representatives investigate.
Speaking to JoyNews, Deputy Ranking on the education committee, Dr Clement Apaak argued that parliament through the probe can establish the source of leakages and offer solutions to help eliminate malpractices.
He told Kwesi Parker Wilson that “the level of leakages and malpractices have reached a stage where if actions are not taken, we will be graduating to a level where WAEC issued certificates will lose their value, not only in Ghana.”
Dr Apaak said that even though the CID and police have been tasked to investigate they cannot be entirely independent, since some personnel are made to escort the papers from WAEC’s strongroom, where papers are kept, to the centres.
He added that WAEC is also not capable of conducting an investigation because it is complacent, neither can the Ministry of Education nor the Ghana Education Service be entirely neutral if they issue a probe.
“We (minority) don’t want to be seen as being partisan or petty, that is why we have given a wide range from 2011 to 2021. What we need to do is to look at the causal factors over time. We need to know how the papers leak and who are the beneficiaries of the leakages?”
“So we ought to hold people accountable. People, who are being paid to ensure the integrity of WAEC exam, for the sake of their own greed have become part of a cabal to leak papers through online portals for personal gain. We isolate them and hold them responsible,” Dr Apaak added.
This follows confirmation by WAEC that some papers were leaked in the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE). The examination body later rescheduled some papers that had supposedly leaked.
Later, two teachers at the Ahamanso Islamic Senior High School were arrested by the Kadjebi District Police for attempting to leak English Language paper two.
Following WAEC’s actions, policy think tank, Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), petitioned the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service to probe the circumstances leading to the leakage of papers.
According to the Executive Director, Kofi Asare, his institution had gathered evidence that when investigated could help the examination body and government strengthen their quality of assessment, by including security and also enhance their credibility.
However, Dr Apaak believes these actions that were taken by WAEC and Eduwatch is not enough to address the issue of leakages and malpractices.
“If you have seen their Eduwatch’s 2020 and 2021 report on the WASSCE, the different layers that account for leakages and those involved are above and beyond what we are hearing. We are talking about leakages occurring even before the exam papers move from WAEC’s own strong room.”
“How do you explain that? We are talking about leakages that occur when papers are in WAEC’s strong room and are being moved from there to the exam centres. Who is responsible? This is the problem,” the MP said.
The Builsa South Constituency MP added that teachers and other persons interdicted are only at the bottom of the leakage chain thus their interdiction does not affect the whole chain.
Dr Apaak stated that the bipartisan probe will aid in getting to the bottom of the cheating scandals and profer solutions to deal with it.
He explained that many people have offered different ideas including breaking the monopoly of WAEC as solutions, however, such decisions cannot be made without the input of many especially experts and those in academia.
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