The government is being urged to introduce alternative public education examination bodies to break the monopoly currently enjoyed by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
According to the Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, this will force the West African examination body to sit up and act swiftly to address the challenges its examinations are fraught with.
Speaking on The Big Issue on Saturday, Kofi Asare said WAEC’s failure to check the lapses in its examination regime, including the leakage of question papers ahead of the examinations could devalue the importance of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West Africa Senior School Certification (WASSCE).
“The challenge we have with WAEC is that it has a monopoly and because it is a monopoly it is not under any pressure to deliver. Every year, there are leakages and no one seems to care but it will get to a point where our certificate will become a paper if we don’t check it,” he said.
Mr. Asare’s comment comes on the back student protests and in some cases, physical assault of WAEC officials by WASSCE candidates who claim the officials prevented them from cheating in the exams.
The development which has characterized the 2020 WASSCE examination has regenerated the conversation of student expectations and conduct during exit exams.
In one of the instances where a WAEC official was assaulted, a teacher is alleged to have supported a candidate to refer to a foreign material with already-solved questions.
Kofi Asare said the government can contract another examination body to serve as an alternative to WAEC in Ghana so that WAEC commits to tackling the challenges with its examinations.
“In other jurisdictions, there is no monopoly in the public sector assessment ecosystem like we have done for WAEC so we [Africa Education Watch] have said that for us to ensure that WAEC’s key problem which is security of papers is solved, we need to find the way for some competition.”
“Get one of two international examination bodies to enter the public space, undertake the same assessment using the same syllabus so that there will be competition for WAEC, other than that, WAEC’s monopoly will keep making them lax,” he added.
WAEC is currently the only examination body that administers Junior High School and Senior High School exit examinations in Ghana.
It conducts the same examinations with Anglophone Africa countries, including Nigeria, Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone.