The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) has indicated that it has received reports of heads and management of some schools locking its inspectors and monitors behind school gates to allow candidates to cheat in the exams.
The council is, therefore, urging all heads of schools engaging in such activities, among other mentioned ones, to desist from that as it amounts to examination malpractice or irregularities and could lead to the cancellation of papers of the involved schools.
“Reports reaching the council indicate that some school authorities have adopted the practice of locking their school gates during the examination period to prevent WAEC inspectors and monitors from gaining access into their school compounds to monitor the examination.
“School authorities, especially those engaged in this act, are directed to desist from the practice as such activities amount to acts of examination irregularities,” WAEC stated.
WAEC stated further that it is also aware of other infringements of the rules and regulations governing the ongoing examination in the areas of impersonation, smuggling of mobile phones into examination halls by candidates, and syndicate cheating in schools.
Head of Public Affairs – WAEC, Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, elaborating further, reminded candidates and school managements that candidates who will be caught with mobile phones in the examination halls would get their entire results cancelled.
Very worrying, the council said, is the new development of impersonation cases, which hitherto were not being recorded in school examinations, are on the increase. “Some impersonators have been arrested in the ongoing examination and are in the grips of the law. Supervisors are directed to deploy the use of the Biometric Verification Device (Vericheck) to identify candidates,” WAEC stated.
Another disturbing development the council mentioned is the ‘syndicate cheating in schools.’ The examination body said bits of intelligence has been received of some school authorities collecting monies from candidates and organising syndicate cheating in their schools.
The council emphasised in the statement that it is working closely with the Ghana Education Service (GES), the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), and other security operatives to check infringements of the rules and regulations governing the ongoing examination, and any culprit would be dealt with accordingly.
“The council wishes to call upon school authorities, supervisors, invigilators, parents and guardians to ensure that candidates abide by this rule,” WAEC concluded.
The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), Kofi Asare, responding to the WAEC statement indicated that he is not too surprised about the issues raised because these are issues policy think tanks and CSOs in the education sector have raised over the years, but the regulator always tried to downplay their reports.
He added that his outfit is also on the ground monitoring the ongoing Ghana-only WAEC examination, and at the appropriate time would release their report on irregularities as well. However, he is hoping that the council will take the stipulated punitive measures against culprits without fear or favour.