General News of Saturday, 20 June 2015
A former Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Charles Ahetor Tsegah; has said the existence of a ready market for leaked examination questions poses a great challenge to the West African Examination Council’s (WAEC) efforts to protect the integrity of examinations.
“There is ready market that is willing and ready to pay whatever cost for leaked papers so when that situation exists, it’s extremely, very, very difficult to see how you can immediately address challenges of this nature,” he complained.
He said the leakage of examination papers has been going on for years but admitted that the gravity of this year’s leaked Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) questions is “below the belt.”
“I think that we are dealing with a phenomena that has existed in the whole process of examinations in this country. It’s just unfortunate that this time round, we have been hit so hard below the belt in terms of the extent of leakage and the number of papers that had to be cancelled…” he said.
Five papers were cancelled in this year’s BECE after WAEC detected a massive leakage of the questions which had gone viral on social media.
A new date has been set for the students to re-write those papers but the competence of WAEC has been questioned with the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) calling for the dismissal of the WAEC boss and the dissolution of the Council’s governing board.
The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) is investigating the circumstances which led to the leakage of the papers and also, to fish out the culprits.
Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, Mr. Tsegah said calls for the dissolution of the WAEC board is a “knee jerk reaction.”
He said sacking the WAEC boss is not the solution to the problem, but he acknowledged it is understandable for people to make such demands in a situation such as this.
He however stressed that it is important “to understand the body you are dealing with, you have to have a certain appreciation of the enormity of the challenges they [WAEC officials] go through.”
The former GES Director General asked why NAGRAT and a cross-section of the public would want to hold the WAEC board responsible for a problem which “might have been caused in the course of implementation.”
“For me, it’s a bit simplistic in my view,” he opined.
“There must be clear evidence of culpability in terms of a lack of administrative directives, a clear deficiencies in certain aspects that can be attributed to the administrative system…but in this particular matter, I do not go with those who think that a whole board should be dissolved,” he explained.