Home News The need to support West African Examinations Council to overcome malpractices

The need to support West African Examinations Council to overcome malpractices

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By Bala Ali, Information Services Department, Accra.

As the 2024 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), commences, some parents become so desperate to do everything possible, even to the extent of promoting examination malpractices among their children through various means. The same applies to some private schools, whose main objective of being in business, is to maximise profit and not to help build the nation.

Unfortunately, it is the examination body that is usually blamed for this act of academic malfeasance by parents, teachers, the pupils and school authorities.They engage in this morally degenerating act. For instance, a Civil Society Organisation, EDUWATCH Africa, has in recent years accused the West Africa Examinations Council, WAEC, for failing to ensure the sanctity of examinations it conducts, especially at the Senior High School (SHS) level.

Indeed, WAEC must accept responsibility for the good and ugly associated with the examinations they conduct. Nonetheless, it is also a fact, that they cannot do it all, especially when major stakeholders like parents, teachers, students, school authorities and the general public fail to cooperate. It is also fair to commend WAEC for doing their best, with regard to the fight against examination malpractices. This stems from the fact, that the examination body has been able to put an end to leaking of examination questions, which marred the integrity of the institution a decade or so ago. WAEC indicates, that they achieved this by leveraging technology to reduce human interface in the production and distribution of examination questions.

The Council has also gone a step further to adopt what they call Test Serialisation System (TSE) of question papers, in their bid to check this malfeasance. With this system, WAEC is able to generate multiple questions for pupils or students in the same examination room. This prevents the examination candidates from engaging in collusion, a form of examination malfeasance, where the candidates support one another in the examination rooms.

Despite WAEC’s effort to stamp out examination malpractices, this criminality still exist, because morally pervasive adults have become facilitators of this shameful and illegal act. It is sad to report, that some parents, teachers, school authorities and compromised WAEC officials stoop so low to commit crimes with innocent children during examinations. As nauseating as it may be, these morally corrupt adults solve the questions for the candidates to copy. This illegality is usually perpetrated by some of the private schools that offer their facilities to WAEC, to be used as examination centres. In this case, candidates, who do not attend these schools are discriminated against, as the WAEC representatives in these centres strictly check them to create the impression, that they are doing the right thing. The implications of these shameless and pervasive acts on the children and the nation as a whole, are so adverse, that something ought to be done about them immediately.

The involvement of these kids in this morally degenerated act can cause their conscience to get sealed, in which case, they might lose their sense of right and wrong as they grow into adulthood. What will the future of the nation be, with these kind of children at the helm of affairs? If we do not cooperate with WAEC to end this malfeasance, a time will come, that international universities will deny Ghanaian children admissions. We are gradually getting there, because not even a First Class English graduate from the top universities in the country can gain admission into any UK or US University, unless they write and pass International English Language Test System.

When the hunter learns to shoot without missing, the bird has no option, but to fly without perching. So, now that those who engage in this illegality have switched from buying leaked question papers from corrupt WAEC officials, to solving the questions for these children, WAEC must think outside the box, to deal with this latest form of malpractice. Unless WAEC has entered into some form of agreement with these private schools to cheat in the examinations for using their facilities, it is possible to prevent this evil in the upcoming examinations.

All that the examination body needs to do is to recruit volunteers with track-able body cameras and post them to these centres. Ghana Integrity Initiative, do not wait for these children to get corrupted before you think about checking them, for it may be too late. If you can do something to help WAEC to fight this integrity problem, do it now! It is also time for the Christian community to rise up and prove their worth. This is purely a moral issue and that is why such a body or community exist. Moreover, the perpetrators of this immoral act are occupants of important positions in our religious sects. We cannot always blame the politicians for all the wrongs, though they also have some influence. The time to stop this dangerous and nation wrecking conduct is now.

WAEC, take charge of your examinations! After all, you will be blamed, if anything goes wrong.

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