The West African Examination Council has outlined specific steps to deal with the perennial leakages of the West African Senior High School Examination (WASCCE) across the country. 

According to the Public Affairs Director of WAEC, Agnes Teye Cudjoe, some measures include using serial numbers, retooling of the Council, and barcodes.

Speaking to JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker Wilson, she said that “serialisation means different versions of the test. So we can have the tests in a different format for everybody so that if we are sitting together in the same examinations hall, the test that you are doing will be different from mine.”

Mrs Cudjoe added that variable data printing, where exams papers will be personalised with students’ data alongside a barcode, is also a means WAEC is looking to ensure the integrity of the WASCCSE.

She explained that the barcodes will help quickly identify culprits who post questions of the papers on social media.

“Eventually, we may have to get to a place whereby we may not even have to conduct a paper and pencil kind of test,” Mrs Cudjoe added.

This comes on the back of complaints about the leakages of examinations questions during the 2021 West African Senior High School Examinations.

In a report, Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) revealed that over 11 papers leaked with the Council being complicit.

WAEC to introduce barcodes, serial numbers and other measures to curb exam leakages
Agnes Teye-Cudjoe is the Public Relations Officer of WAEC

Out of the 20 exam questions it monitored, 11 leaked, while nine were recorded as fake leaks.

It added that the papers leaked before or after midnight, at the dawn of the scheduled day for examination or a few hours before.

“Examination questions leakage and malpractices continue to grow from a menace into a subculture due to the high demand for questions by some students and their willingness to pay big, the assurance of profit to invigilators, teachers and supervisors, and the continued existence and preservation of security loopholes in WAEC’s questions supply chain by some recalcitrant WAEC officials, agents and assigns,” Eduwatch noted.

Aside from petitioning the CID earlier, the policy think tank recommended a high-level inquiry into the questions leakages, emphasising the exact source of leaks within the question supply chain.

However, Mrs Cudjoe says that some three schools captured in Eduwatch’s reports did not partake in the exams.

She added that WAEC will not outrightly say that the papers leaked, but they noticed extracts of some papers found their way on social media, unlike the policy think tank.

“We will not say papers leaked; extract of the paper does not mean the paper leaked,” she said.

Meanwhile, 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.”

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