The West African Examination Council (WAEC) says it has tightened up its security apparatus as this year’s West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) starts.
The Council, as part of its security measures, has serialised some question papers and used number combination padlocks in addition to ordinary padlocks for all security bags containing question paper packets.
“We will be naming and shaming schools who engage in malpractice during the conduct of the examination to serve as a deterrent to others. We will enhance inspection of malpractice prone centres.”
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on this year’s WASSCE examination, which started in 775 centres for 422, 883 candidates, Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, Head of Public Affairs at WAEC said the Council was also collaborating with the National Intelligence Bureau to monitor the printing of questions.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe said the Council had also created additional depots for the storage of confidential materials to ensure that depots were located close to schools to prevent late start of the examination.
She said movements of question papers from “strong rooms” to depots were being done in batches not to compromise the process.
“WAEC deport keepers are undertaking their assignments together with Ghana Education Service (GES) personnel not below the rank of Assistant Director. The depots are under 24-hour guard by the Ghana Police Service.”
She further intimated that WAEC had enhanced inspection of malpractice prone centres and rolled out more surveillance on those centres.
“There will be continued surveillance of these schools by the Council’s team of inspectors and security personnel in the course of the examinations.”
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe cautioned candidates and the public against the operations of rogue websites and other social media groups that may be displaying questions papers.
According to her, WAEC had observed that “scammers are using the past question papers of WAEC to advertise their websites and their activities,” and advised the candidates to focus on their books and not to be led astray by such groups.
She urged supervisors and invigilators to be guided by the rules of the examinations.
“We urge them to be vigilant, refrain from taking their mobile phones into examination halls and carry out their duties as expected. They should not be agents of malpractices as unfortunately is the case sometimes.”
She also appealed to the media to refrain from putting out “unverified information” on the conduct of the examination.
“Let us be careful not to create unnecessary fear and panic among candidates. This could also send wrong signals on the conduct of the examination to the international community.”
She said WAEC would continue to carry out its mandate and appealed to all stakeholders to support the Council for incident free examination.
This year’s WASSCE for School Candidates (Ghana Version) is for 422,883 candidates from 977 schools.
Other member countries are done with their examination.
The schools are made up of 673 public schools and 304 private schools.
WAEC said the number of public schools that presented candidates from this year’s examination had increased from 651 in 2021 to 673 in the year 2022.
The examination commenced on August 1, this year with Visual Art Project Work options.
The theory papers started on Monday, August 22, 2022.
It will end on September 27, 2022, with ICT Paper 3 Practical.
The Council has special arrangements for candidates with special needs.
This includes the use of Braille papers for the visually impaired, large printer papers for candidates with low vision, and additional time for visually -impaired and hearing-impaired candidates and those with cerebral Palsy and the blind.