Massive Bribery, Cheating Mar 2023 WASSCE
-WAEC Confirms, Says Some Schools Charging Candidates ¢500, ¢1,000 For ‘Apor’
The West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) has confirmed that the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) across the country has been characterized by widespread examination malpractices, amid massive bribery and cheating, at various examination centres.
The council explained that, aside from issues of impersonation, candidates being caught with foreign materials in the exam halls and invigilators aiding candidates to cheat, among others, some senior high schools (SHS) are also, shamelessly, charging their students various sums of money as bribes to assist them to cheat with impunity.
According to the WAEC, desperate final year students currently writing the exams are being charged between GH₵500 andGH₵1,000 to apparently get assistance from their authorities.
Head of Public Affairs at the WAEC, John K. Kapi, at a media briefing, expressed grave concern about the situation, adding that, in some schools, because the students having paid to be assisted and cheat, they show up at the exam centers with some high level of entitlement, thinking they have the right to be taught at all cost.
“It is sad to note that some of the schools have devised grand schemes for cheating at their examination centers.
“Information reaching us indicates that some of the schools charge their candidates ranging from GHc500 and GHc1,000 each to enable them to get assistance during the examination and this practice has given some of the students a certain sense of entitlement, and they want to be allowed their way,” a worried Mr. Kapi told journalists.
According to the WAEC, some of the proprietors of the schools have shown open hostility to their officials, who go to these schools to monitor their activities. Mr. Kapi said this has forced them to call for the support of the police to enable them to have smooth monitoring exercise in these schools.
“Proprietors of some schools have shown open hostility towards our monitoring teams prompting us to call for support from the Ghana Police Service to ensure their safety,” he reiterated.
He indicated that, some people who attempted to entice some of their officials with bribe have been arrested for due process to take its course.
“And, some people have been arrested for attempting to bribe our personnel to look the other way so that the cheating can go on,” he said.
The WAEC, The Anchor is informed, is currently overwhelmed by the situation, with hundreds of the students having been arrested by both the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) and the police.
Reports of examination malpractice is not new, but what appears to be making these schools engage in the act bracingly is the intense competition between these schools, as to who has the best WASSCE results to attract good students.
Mr. Kapi also revealed that a total of 86 mobile phones was also retrieved from students, writing the examination.
According to him, in the course of the Government paper, these phones were seized from candidates at Otoo Memorial SHS at Babiani, and that at this particular school, the monitoring team was kept at the gate for close to 10 minutes, but they quickly found a different route to enter the centre and upon their arrival, they were able to seize this number of phones.
At the Only Believe SHS in Kukurantumi, a national service person who attempted to write the Government paper for someone else was arrested by the team.
The sub regional examination scheme has, in the past and for decades, been fraught with several irregularities, including the carrying of illegal materials and documents, such as mobile phones.
Exam malpractices gathered by WAEC:
- Foreign materials with candidates in exam halls: According to WAEC, a number of candidates have been caught with prepared notes, textbooks and pages torn from their textbooks with the intention of using them to their advantage in the examination hall.
- Pictures taken of question papers and circulated via social media platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram: The Exam Council observed that some examiners used their smartphones to take pictures of the question papers before the exam began, and these images were then shared on various social media platforms. These channels also circulate their solutions to these questions to their subscribers.
According to WAEC, the council’s security network tracked some of these snapshots to their sources. For instance, Social Studies Paper 1 was tracked to Lawrence SHS in Sunyani where the teacher who circulated the post has been arrested.
In the same vein, Biology 2 was tracked to Mountain High SHS, Elective Mathematics was tracked to Adu Gyamfi SHS in the Ashanti region.
- Impersonation: At Only Believe SHS, a national service person attempted to write the Government paper for one of the candidates but he was arrested by the police. At the same centre, two other suspected impersonators absconded. One impersonator and his accomplice, a teacher, were arrested at Christian IPS.
- Attempt to insert absentee’s script: Ideal College La Paz campus was found guilty of trying to insert scripts of seven absentee candidates into the envelope.
- Exam hall malpractice or syndicate teaching: WAEC said they have received reports that solutions were written on whiteboards for candidates to copy and these were hurriedly cleaned upon arrival of WAEC inspectors at the centres. WAEC monitoring teams captured responsible individuals and turned them over to the police.
Recall that few years ago, some final year students demonstrated and vandalized school properties for their inability to copy because the questions were difficult in their view. Some had even resorted to beating their teachers for not allowing them to copy or not teaching them the answers.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) are is yet to comment on the issue.