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WASSCE: A teacher who helped students to cheat is now an assistant headmaster – Kofi Asare

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The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, has called on the West African Examination Council (WAEC), to be independent of the Ghana Education Service and its employees.

According to him, employing the services of the teachers and individuals under the service of the GES when conducting examinations contributes to some of the many examination challenges including malpractices like cheating and others.

Speaking on midday news on Joy FM, Mr Asare explained that WAEC uses the same teachers who taught the students to regulate their examinations and thus, despite efforts by the Ministry of Education to curb malpractices, some supervisors and teachers connive to help their students cheat.

He said, “I know a teacher who was caught on video during one of our documentaries dictating answers to a Management in Living question in a particular school in Bono. That teacher was then a Management in Living teacher. As we speak, he is an assistant master in another school.”

“So when we hear of instances where some teachers collect money from students, solve questions for them, put them on WhatsApp platforms, and then they copy in the exam hall, and the same teachers are invigilators, and some of them are supervisors in the same exam hall, you must understand that it is possible because WAEC is only present in about 20% of the centres at a particular time.”

Mr Asare suggested that for WAEC to be truly independent where malpractices are curbed it should implement measures that are in line with international best practices.

He said one way to do this, is for WAEC to use third parties who have no interest in the outcome of the examination. 

“The reason is that it prevents the possibility of conflict of interest and also reduces the corruption risk associated with teachers being involved in examining students that they taught, because the result of the students, more or less, is a litmus of the performance of the teachers,” he explained.

Also, Mr Asare called for the dismissal of teachers, who aid in examination malpractices such as aiding students to cheat.

“Under the current regime, they are not dismissed. The Code of Conduct for Teachers categorizes it as an offence, but it is not an outright dismissal. The GES must elevate their sanctions in the Code of Conduct for teachers who collude or participate in the examination fraud.”

“Then it becomes a very, very high-risk business. Until then, the problem we have on our hands will remain until we change the system which WAEC deploys,” he added. 

Background

Last week, the Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum announced that this year’s results is the best since 2015.

However, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama challenged the authenticity of the recent results.

According to him, some invigilators relax on the job as teachers are found aiding students in answering questions.

“In many places, they let the children cheat. You go to places and the teachers are conniving with the students to cheat. The effect will be seen later,” Mr. Mahama said.

The former President, who is on the “Building Ghana Tour”, believes the development will have dire consequences on the country’s educational system in future.

“You certify these children saying they are of this standard either the BECE or SSCE, and that child will use that certificate, go abroad to a school and they will find out that your qualification is not up to the standard you say it is”.

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