The Africa Education Watch has described as unfortunate the threat by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), to take legal action against it following the release of its report on the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Last week, the education think tank released what it calls an independent assessment report on the exams, which revealed that there were unprecedented levels of irregularities.
WAEC, in a press briefing on Tuesday, however, rubbished some of the assertions made by the think tank, while threatening legal action.
In his outfit’s defence, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, said the report sought to initiate major reforms to strengthen the examination body thus, the threat of a lawsuit by the exams body is below the belt.
“It is unfortunate that WAEC is threatening to take legal action against Africa Education Watch for its recent report. We are minded of the public interest and our focus is to support the government to reform the educational sector going forward and operate in a way that is more efficient and credible for the Ghanaian public.”
“It is a great conversation, looking at what has happened in the past 15 years with the examination malpractices value chain. We acknowledge that this is a difficult concern to have, but we believe that at a point we shouldn’t shy away from this conversation because a society that does not have discussions on its development ends up ruining its own development,” Kofi Asare pointed out.
WAEC stated that the think tank’s report is fraught with factual inaccuracies.
Head of the Legal Department at WAEC, Rev. Victor Brew, said all options are on the table, including legal action against Africa Education Watch over the report.
“All options are on the table including a legal suit. These are things that management has to first strategise on. Don’t be surprised if you hear of it in the coming days. But I can’t tell the actual date this will happen”, he told the media.
As part of eleven recommendations proffered by the education think tank, Africa Education Watch asked the government to digitise the question distribution system and also break WAEC’s monopoly.
Speaking on this, however, the Head of Public Affairs at WAEC, Agnes Tei-Cudjoe said “it’s easier said than done.”
“The report recommends an internet-based encrypted email system which sends questions 30 minutes ahead of time to exam centres, by which time candidates are to be seated. It is easier to write this than to implement it.”
“That is why we insist that Arica Education Watch did not engage us, if they did, they would have understood better our processes and procedures and come out with more feasible recommendations. We are open to recommendations, but we also have to consider the feasibility,” she added.