WASSCE 2023 malpractice: “Invigilation Levy” and 9 new hotspots flagged
Examination malpractices have been figured out in the ongoing 2023 standardized test, West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE)
among some schools in the country where 9 schools were flagged for malpractice.
According to the monitoring team, they have identified Kadjebi Asato SHS and Baglo SHTS (Oti Region), Islamic SHS (Ashanti Region), Pentecost SHS (Eastern Region), and five (5) others in the Bono Region due to their involvement in the examination malpractices.
Per the reports available at our news desk, the team said they have monitored the conduct of the examinations in a couple of these schools in addition to one other school in the Central Region.
Surprisedly, it was captured that the Council, West African Examination Council (WAEC) had not monitored the test effectively creating loopholes for malpractice.
According to the available information at our end, Kadjebi Asato Senior High School has been flagged based on some happenings.
After the Mathematics Core paper on Thursday 14th September, 2023, the team said they were informed that some of the students in the school were dissatisfied about how their teachers discriminated against them in the assistance offered during the paper.
In conducting a check for the root of the raised dissatisfaction, the team went deep with some students both in town and on campus in order to dig more about the canker.
- The candidates who sat for the examination were over 1,140 based on that, the examination was conducted in the school’s assembly hall and about twenty-five (25) classrooms.
- Monitoring. There were two (2) officials on monitoring duty; one from the Oti Regional Education office of the GES and the other, a WAEC official.
- Try as the two officials did, the mere number of the over twenty classrooms used as examination halls, in addition to the assembly hall, was too much for them to control. Attention was thus focused more on the assembly hall, where most of the candidates were put in one location.
- Three (3) workers of the school – the school administrator, the driver, and a storekeeper – were reportedly deployed to smuggle to the examination halls at the classroom side, mobile phones, and worked out solutions to the questions at the blind sides of the two monitoring officials.
- The students also alleged that their Mathematics teachers had unfettered access to the examination halls and assisted those who wrote the papers in the classrooms. They also disclosed that those of them in the assembly hall received less attention due to the “permanent” presence of one of the monitoring officials.
- The candidates in the assembly hall did not benefit so much from the assistance offered to their colleagues who wrote the papers in the classrooms.
- According to the aggrieved candidates, some of their prefects also wrote the Mathematics paper in the assembly hall.
- The aggrieved candidates complained that when the bell was rung for the end of the paper, their scripts were collected from them. However, when the two monitoring officials left the assembly hall, some of their colleagues, including the Senior Prefect and Girls Prefect were locked inside the school counselor’s office located within the Assembly hall and offered the worked-out answers to the Mathematics questions for copying.
- To them, that was compensation to the two (2) prefects for not getting the level of assistance offered to their colleagues in the classrooms due to the presence of the monitoring officials in the Assembly hall.
- Probing further, the team invested time to ascertain whether the Senior Prefect and Girls Prefect could not answer the questions at all before the end of the paper or they cancelled the wrong answers they had written before copying the worked-out answers given to them. They had no clue to our question.
Payment of Fifty Cedis (Ghc50.00) Invigilation Levy
The aggrieved candidates told the team that their teachers had asked the over 1,140 candidates to pay Fifty Ghana Cedis (Gh¢50) for the assistance offered them in the Mathematics paper. However, those of them who were discriminated against had decided not to pay.
As a result, the teachers had restyled the levy as the cost of clearance form, which each student must pay before the clearance forms are even issued to them. Simply, the teachers would not clear students who fail to pay for the forms before they depart after the WASSCE.
The Looming Danger
The team observed that this position of the teachers against the resistance of a sizeable number of the SHS3 candidates poses a potential threat to peace and security in Kadjebi Asato SHS. The resistance by students to the said clearance form levy can lead to riots and the destruction of school property should the teachers insist on collecting the Gh¢50 Invigilation Levy.
The team called upon the Headmaster of the school, the Ghana Education Service (GES) both the Headquarters and the Oti Regional office to act speedily and ward off any danger.
The Need to Strengthen Monitoring
From the team’s analysis of the situation in Kadjebi Asato SHS, two (2) officials monitoring the examination in the large Assembly hall and about twenty-five (25) classrooms for each core subject paper is woefully inadequate.
The Council, WAEC, therefore needs to find ways to increase the number of invigilators for effective monitoring of the Integrated Science paper and other papers to limit the malpractice.
Enyan Maim Community SHS
The team commended WAEC for the measures taken to curtail the malpractices after their report of Sunday, 10th September 2023.
Adding, they said though things have improved due to the monitoring put in place, their team can report bold-chested that the absence of any WAEC official during the Mathematics objective test paper on Thursday 14th September 2023 provided a conducive atmosphere for cheating. The presence of the official during the written paper shrank the malpractice.
In a nutshell, the investigative team heaped praise on WAEC for the measures they have taken to set it right after chancing on their reports.
The impediment is the limited number of officials on the grounds to do the monitoring. We believe that if the government had provided adequate funding and in a well-timed manner, WAEC would have performed to a good standard.
The government should empower WAEC by releasing sufficient funds to them and on time for the engagement of more staff to monitor the examinations.
Again, it was added that funds should be released on time to pay teachers who invigilate the examinations and examiners who mark the scripts.
The perennial problem of the inadequate and delayed release of funds to WAEC and delayed payment of the meagre allowances of the invigilators and examiners many months (sometimes over one year) after performing their duties is one cause of examination malpractice.
When all the best practices are employed for the success of the examination, there will be less or no examination malpractice.