General News of Thursday, 26 January 2017
The West African Examination Council, (WAEC), has kicked against a proposal by the Education Minister-Nominee, to create a rival examination body for the country.
Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh at his vetting on Monday, hinted of the possibility of setting up a rival body to conduct examinations in the country, for the purposes of enabling competition that will improve quality. But speaking to Citi News, the Director of WAEC, Rev Samuel Ollenu, said setting up a rival body would rather lead to a fall in standards.
“We as an examining body have braced ourselves for a proposal like that, but fortunately from the point of view of educational measurement, it is not recommendable because when that happens, we are going to make the examination malpractice issue a complex one, and you are also going to lower educational standards in the country,” he said.
According to him, several consultations they have held on the matter, have seen stakeholders kicking against the move. “We have been interacting with other examining body and there is one in the UK which we spoke to them about this issue, and they said they wish the thing hadn’t even gone that way because it’s creating so many problems. My colleague in Nigeria when he heard about the news, what he said is that, what Ghana has and we they are envious of, we wan’t to destroy it.
He said if we go that way, the prizes that we have been picking all these years, we may not be able to do that again because standards will fall.” Citing tertiary education in Ghana, Mr. Ollenu said standards at such level continue to be intact, due to the work of the National Accreditation board, which checks the proliferation of such institutions in the country.
“We have a number of private universities in the country, and had it not been for the presence of the National Accreditation Board, standards at that level would have fallen so much.
So forming a rivalry examining body would mean that the standard of education is going to fall drastically,” he added. WAEC has constantly faced criticism for exam leakages in the country. 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 harmonize and standardize pre-university assessment procedures in the then British West Africa.
Tread cautiously in creating alternative exam body
GNAT Meanwhile, 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).