The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum has distorted claims of critics on the Procurement of WASSCE Past Questions for students.
The Sector Minister said, procurement of Past Questions improves performances in West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in the recent times.
Defending the argument, Dr. Adutwum said key interventions deployed to ensure improved learning outcomes include the payment of interventions money, supply of all core textbooks to students and elective text books for access in school libraries, past questions and examiners report among others, accounted for the sterling WASSCE 2020 performance which recorded over 50% A1 to C6 score in all core subjects as well as 411 out of 465 students who obtained A1 in all subjects, are Ghanaian students.
This came following the report that says His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government through the Ministry of Education spent over GH¢68.5 Million between 2020 and 2021 academic years to purchase Past Questions for West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) candidates.
The report said, in 2020, the Ministry of Education under the leadership of Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh spent GH¢ 33,641,043.75 to purchase 568,755 WASSCE past questions for WASSCE candidates while the Ministry of Education led by Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum has spent GH¢34,862,412.00 to purchase 446,954 sets of Past Questions at a Unit Price of GH¢78 for 2021 WASSCE candidates under free SHS.
Though government received criticisms from many well-meaning Ghanaians including the African Foundation for Educational Development (AFfED) that says the decision to purchase Past Questions for students seek to abandon their cognitive development, the Dr. Adutwum has disagreed with them all and went ahead to provide facts on the procurement of WAEC past questions and Examiners Report booklets for students by Ministry of Education
According to the Minister, in 2019, MoE procured 361,755 booklets of WAEC past questions and examiners report on WASSCE (for all 4 core subjects contained in a 430 page booklet) at the unit cost of Gh¢71.25 per booklet. This booklet contained past questions and examiners report from 2013 to 2018.
He further said, in 2021, the Ministry procured 446,954 booklets at the unit cost of Gh¢78 per booklet (457 pages, covering past questions and examiners report from 2015 to 2020).
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum believes that, these procurements were done through Free SHS account and in compliance with due process.
“Procurement was done by due process of PPA approval through sole sourcing with full consideration of value for money.”
He again explained that, WAEC owns the copyright to WAEC past questions and examiners report and therefore any publisher who engages in reproduction of any WAEC material does so in contravention of the law. In view of this, WAEC granted the sole right of reproduction to Kingdom Books. Kingdom Books having obtained the right for reproduction from WAEC and being the sole publisher who held such right, was engaged by the Ministry for the procurement. Till date, Kingdom Books reserves the sole right for reproduction of such WAEC materials. When more publishers are able to secure similar rights from the appropriate outfit (WAEC), competitive tendering may be occasioned in the future.
“The concept of preparing students to pass exams is best practice. Many countries, institutions and international exam bodies i.e. Cambridge, IB, SAT, LSAT, IELT etc make provision for past questions and examiners report available to be accessed by students at a fee, far more expensive than the unit cost of this transaction.”
“Key interventions deployed to ensure improved learning outcomes include the payment of interventions money, supply of all core textbooks to students and elective text books for access in school libraries, past questions and examiners report among others, accounted for the sterling WASSCE 2020 performance which recorded over 50% A1 to C6 score in all core subjects as well as 411 out of 465 students who obtained A1 in all subjects, are Ghanaian students.” He explained.
The Education Minister concluded that, It’s prudent to view the total sum expended in this year’s and previous year’s procurement within the context of total number of final year students across the country