Tread cautiously in creating alternative exam body – GNAT

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has urged the government to “tread cautiously” in getting an alternative to the country’s only examination body, the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

The Minister of Education nominee, Matthew Opoku Prempeh at his vetting in Parliament on Tuesday [January 25], proposed that as part of reforms to address the phenomenon of examination question leakages, an alternative examination management body be established.

But according to GNAT, any such move must be carefully considered to ensure that the certificates students obtain after completion of their primary and secondary education, are of value across the sub-region.

Speaking to Citi News, the General Secretary of GNAT, David Ofori Acheampong, said “we should tread cautiously with that approach. We have to go back and look at the history of WAEC; why was it established and why does it focus on English-speaking West African countries. I believe that it is to ensure that standardization of education…”

“If we are opening up the space to bring another examination body, will the certificate they issue be acceptable in only Ghana or other West African countries. If in Nigeria, WAEC is not the only examination body, then the question is, is it the same syllabus being used or both have their respective syllabus and how are admissions to higher institutions of learning done?”

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) was established 1952 after the Governments of Ghana (then Gold Coast), Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia enacted the West African Examinations Council Ordinances in 1951. Liberia became the fifth member of the Council in 1974.

The enactment of the Ordinances was based on the Jeffrey Report, which strongly supported the proposal for the setting up of a regional examining board to harmonise and standardise pre-university assessment procedures in the then British West Africa.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has thrown its weight behind the minister nominee’s proposal.

The President of NAGRAT, Christian Addai Poku, said the proposal was in the right direction.

According to him, “it is not right for a single examination management body to be imposed on everybody, and whatever they give us, whether it’s good or bad we take it.”

He told Citi News that having another examination management body will present students with an option on which examination they prefer to take.

By: Jonas Nyabor/
Follow @jnyabor