Education Think Tank, Africa Education Watch has outlined some policy and operational recommendations that can contribute to fix the system of examination leakages and malpractices in the country.
These recommendations form part of its 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) Report which was launched on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 after an independent assessment.
According to the Executive Director of African Education Watch, Kofi Asare, the research was triggered by the “gravity of malpractices witnessed in the 2020 West African Secondary Schools Examination and the unprecedented leakage of names and contacts of examiners and questions for all but two subjects.”
The recommendations which would help to address the flaws and improve the large-scale pre-tertiary assessment processes are;
1. Investigate and Prosecute Offenders
2. Regulate WAEC: The Ministry of Education must set up a Regulator of Assessments, like OFQUAL in the United Kingdom.
3. Break the WAEC Monopoly
4. Digitize the question distribution system
5. Reinforce ban on the use of mobile phones
6. Strengthen and publicize prosecutions
7. Divorce GES/Ministry of Education from the WAEC’s Governing Committee
8. Engage external consultants to speed up investigations into alleged malpractices
9. Ministry of Education should ensure timely release of funds to WAEC
10. Review Assessment Methods
11. Conduct nationwide anti examination malpractices campaign
The report noted that the malpractices and violent events of the 2020 WASSCE examinations are an accumulation of issues in the system that have been overlooked and that a total reforms is needed to fix the assessment system.
“The malpractices, violence and chaos that characterized the 2020 WASSCE examinations are only symptoms of system deficiencies that have been either overlooked or swept under the carpet for many years. Anything short of a holistic reform of our assessment system only provides maximum assurance of the recurrence of similar if not worse malpractices in 2021 and beyond. The onus lies on the Ministry of Education to choose between the timely nursing of a curable sore and the continued delusion of its absence until it becomes an incurable cancer.”
The 2020 WASSCE for the first batch of Free Senior High School (SHS) students was marred by a lot of controversies.
Some persons circulated the yet-to-be-written WASSCE papers on social media, with many alleging it was an attempt to ensure that the first batch of Free SHS beneficiaries passed.
The details of some examiners of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) were released.
Some invigilators were also reportedly manhandled by some students who allegedly engaged in exam malpractice.
The Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, had earlier alleged that the questions in the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) have leaked.
According to him, a special page for sharing these leaked questions was created on social media for interested students.
“We have realised that prior to the Integrated Science paper, there were some leakages. It happened that whatever leaked appeared [in the exam] and students were elated. If you go to Facebook and you type Mr. Right, you will see a page called WAEC exams leaked room run by Mr. Right. He has about 6,400 followers and the business is usually done on WhatsApp. I am only mentioning, Mr. Right, because the brand was embossed on some of the questions we saw,” Mr. Asare said.