CUTS Ghana, a research and advocacy policy think-tank in Accra, is calling on the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education to abolish the scratch-card requirement that Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West African Senior Secondary Certificate (WASSCE) candidates pay to access their results online.
The Country Coordinator for CUTS Ghana, Mr. Appiah Kusi Adomako, said the practice by which the exams body charges candidate’s money before they access their exams is exploitation. According to Mr. Adomako, across the world, exams bodies do not charge students any money when candidates want to check their exam results.
“In the past when candidates sat for the BECE and the WASSCE, the exams body sent candidates’ results slips to their various schools. When the WAEC decided to go online with its results in 2004, it then required candidates to pay to view their results. Though this practice is an improvement from the previous one, mandating candidates to pay to view results is illegal and amounts to extortion,” he said.
Mr. Appiah Adomako said: “It must be noted that the WAEC has cut down cost tremendously by going electronic and publishing the results of candidates online. By default, when a system moves from manual to electronic the cost associated with it reduces, so there is no valid reason to surcharge candidates. The Council saves a lot of money from not printing results slips and having them sent to schools across the country via road. The savings derived from this innovation is enough to allow the candidates to view their exams online for free. Kenya, which also moved from the paper-based to electronic means of checking results, does it for free. Zambia is also another example”.
Speaking on the placement system, Mr. Adomako lamented as to why candidates have to incur cost to learn in which school that they have been placed. Government introduced the Computer School Placement System for admissions into Senior High Schools to help alleviate the challenges that had bedevilled the previous system.
“With this new system, a candidate has to pay to know the school which he/she had been placed. In the past, the state was incurring more cost in placing candidates manually. With this computer-based placement, the cost has come down substantially,” he opined.
“Mr. Adomako said, currently, the WAEC and GES charges GH¢5.00 to allow each candidate to access results online and learn which school he/she has been placed in.”