We need stakeholders’ support to safeguard integrity of examinations – WAEC

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has called for public and stakeholders’ support to safeguard the integrity of examinations in the country.

“We cannot effectively carry out this mandate without the support of stakeholders. Although the council is the assessment body established by law with the mandate to determine examinations required in the public interest, to conduct the examination and award certificates internationally.”

Mrs Wendy E. Addy-Lamptey, Head of National Office, WAEC, told a press conference in Accra that “the conduct of examinations is a shared responsibility.”

The press conference sought to clarify and update the public on the recent happenings during the conduct of the just ended 2020 WASSCE and upcoming BECE Examinations.

This year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) has been characterized by media reports of leakage of Integrated Science papers among others on social media platforms.

Mrs Addy-Lamptey said for example, the council relied on third parties and individuals to provide services such as supervision, invigilation and security.

“Any activity engaged in by such individuals which goes contrary to the tenets of the examination could undermine the integrity of the examination and certificates issued,” she added.

She noted that examination malpractices could be described as “worst form of fraud” as the act affected the youth whose value system was now being formed.

She debunked the assertion that this year’s WASSCE was one of the most compromised examinations conducted by the council in the country’s history.

According to her, digitization had come with its challenges and the Council would do all it could to maintain the integrity of its examinations.

Ghana could not shut down the Internet during examination periods as it was practiced in some countries, she said.

She explained that whereas in some countries, examinations were conducted within one or two days, Ghana used about six weeks hence shutting down the Internet would come along with many challenges.

She admitted that social media and the springing up of roque websites advertising the sale of question papers from WAEC as well as solutions, continued to be a problem.

“Sadly, apart from circulating fake questions on social media, these roque websites and WhatsApp groups claim to be able to alter results for candidates,” Mrs Addy-Lamptey said.

Let me state here and that, WAEC neither circulates “apor” on social media, nor alters results of candidates, she said.

She said the Council was collaborating with the Ghana Police Service, Bureau of National Investigations to curtail the activities of roque websites.

According to Mrs Addy-Lamptey, some of challenges recorded by the council during this year’s WASSCE included reports of some invigilators sending their phones to examination halls and using same to assist candidates.

“Some proprietors and invigilators were complacent in these unfortunate acts,” she said.

Additionally, Mrs Addy-Lamptey said the Council also had reports of “taking of snap shots of question papers from centres after question paper packets were opened. These were subsequently posted on social media groups for candidates to access answers for a fee.”

“Sending of foreign materials such as prepared notes, text books and pamphlets to examination halls.”

On impersonation, she noted that two teachers have now been charged with abetment.

According to her, the Council has reported all the teachers involved to the Ghana Education Service (GES) for administrative sanctions to be taken against them.

Again, Mrs Addy-Lamptey said WAEC was compiling all cases of examination malpractices detected in the scripts of candidates during marking.

She said these scripts would be handed over to the Ghana Examination Committee for its approval for the necessary action to be taken against candidates.

In the case of the provisional Examiners Lists on social media, Mrs Addy-Lamptey said, the Council was keenly following some leads.

She said the provisional list of Examiners would not affect the various time- tested quality assurance mechanisms put in place by the council in relation to marking processes.

“Following the development, the Council has adopted additional measures to further assure the integrity of the marking processes,” she stressed.

Mrs Addy-Lamptey said WAEC was considering installing mobile phone jammers in all examination centres to discourage cheating at examination centres across the country.

Reverend Victor Brew, Head of Legal, WAEC, noted that with regard to the riots which broke out at Bright Senior High School in the Eastern Region, some arrests have been made following an identification parade.

According to Rev. Brew, some of the suspects have been admitted to bail while others have been arraigned before court.

Source: GNA

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