Deputy Communications Director for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Asante-Yeboah has said that the West African Examination Council (WAEC) just as any other institution is not perfect in the execution of its duties.
He was speaking to Berla Mundi on TV3’s New Day Thursday June 23 in relation to the report released by the Africa Education Watch with uncovered widespread malpractices in last years West Afr8ican Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
He said WAEC is a human institution with a lot of people from diverse backgrounds and “the petty problems that the Council is usually challenged with is to be expected and that for that reason, some of the incessant attacks directed at the Council each year are not appropriate and fair.
“At every point in time, I cannot sit and pretend that WAEC has no issues. I schooled in Ghana and I know that there are certain instances where results are leaked…so let’s stop the politics of everything goes, the politics of saying whatever it is for no apparent reason just to confuse the people and throw dust into the eyes of the public.”
He added “We know that there are difficulties. This is a human being conducting the examination and they are not machines, somebody will be corrupted along the chain and there should be measures to punish these corrupt people when caught because WAEC complained when a police officer was caught in 2015 to be leaking the examination papers and he wasn’t punished six years on,” he added.
He said the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service should collaborate with WAEC to eliminate all forms of examination malpractices since the Council reports to the various educational institutions in the countries that they conduct examinations for.
He admonished the people who attempt relating the annual examination malpractices especially examination leakages to the free education policy to desist from that “because students sat and wrote examinations under difficult conditions because of Covid-19 and still came out with flying colors where we even beat Nigeria and the other countries who participated in the test.”
Meanwhile, WAEC has threatened to file a law suit against policy think tank, Africa Education Watch over their recent report which revealed widespread malpractices, violence and chaos on the 2020 WASSCE.
The report noted that these malpractices are only symptoms of system deficiencies that have been either overlooked or swept under the carpet for many years.
It added the credibility of WAEC’s examination systems is important in determining/defining the quality of Ghana’s education system.
The adoption and observance of international assessment standards is critical to sustaining WAEC’s and the WASSCE’s credibility.
However, acts like leakage of markers contact details and questions have strong potential to reduce the credibility of WAEC’s assessment systems and standards, and by extension, the credibility and recognition of the WASSCE certificate.
The absence of a Regulator of Assessments that ensures WAEC’s compliance to international standards creates a vacuum in institutional accountability and the observance of quality assurance in assessment standards.
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.
But Head of the Legal Department at WAEC, Rev. Victor Brew, said at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday June 22 that among the options available to WAEC in response to this report, including legal action against Africa Education Watch.
“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 said.