Former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Prof Stephen Adei, says the West African Examinations Council and the Ghana Education Service should stop making excuses for the recent leakage of examination papers in the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination.
WAEC in a statement after some papers were leaked said although the students had foreknowledge of the papers, it cannot be described as a leakage.
But Prof Adei says some form of punishment should be metered out to people who have been involved in the recent leaks.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Prof Adei said “By now I am expecting not excuses from the GES and WAEC but some people fired, especially when it involves teachers and parents and others. We must put in certain systems that will ameliorate these occurrences.”
Hei said the leakage only means that “we’ve lost the moral aspect in our education.”
He said children are not being taught the importance of honesty and integrity, which are important principles of education.
“I think that along the way, we lost the moral aspect of our education and it also reflects in our morality because we have lost morality in most homes, in most businesses and especially in government. This is what is reflecting in our mass education and we have this unfortunate phenomenon.”
Citing the Ashesi University, where he is a professor, he said students even at that level are made to sign upon entry that they are going to be honest and people of integrity and are going to be each other’s keeper.
“In other words, not only are they going to be honest, but they will not allow others to cheat in the system. They are educated on the importance of such principles because they are there to be trained both in character and competence and in taking care of each other.
“To such an extent that at Ashesi when you give an examination, there is no need for an invigilator because the students will not only do right but they will make sure that everyone respects the honour code.”
Prof. Adei is of the view that parents have a big role to play reversing the current trend of dishonesty in the society because they are the child’s first point of contact.
He said parents “raise children almost as if they are raising pigs, just feed them with fried rice, take them to schools and pay their fees. Fewer homes are bringing up children in the right way.”
“Many parents even at home are openly lying or stealing, if you are a public servant and you keep stealing public money and you bring it home, the children know that you are not living on your salary so first of all we have a problem at the home level.”
Teachers on the other hand, he believes, are not doing what is expected of them. They no longer are the models they used to be.
Most of the teachers spend their time doing their external examinations when they should be teaching, he said.
“We are a country whereby it is on record that about 42 days in a year, teachers don’t show up in schools and they can get away with murder.”
He said until pragmatic measures are taken, examination papers will always leak because most people are bent on doing anything to pass their exams or acquire a certificate since a good certificate is the only way they can get a good salary.
Prof Adei called for a change in the mode of teaching, adding that examinations should not be about how much a student can recall but based on their ability to discover and experiment.
He advised that examination papers be sent to the various schools only about 24 hours before the actual examination starts and that it was unacceptable that questions are sent to school two weeks ahead of time.
“At the end of the day, unless we as a society look at the issue of morality, corruption in higher places and lower places and the training of the children and bringing in moral education from the beginning ,we are on a very dangerous path. We must find a solution to this as soon as possible,” he said.