A Fellow at the Centre for Social Justice Nii Armah Addy has questioned the decision by the government to purchase past questions for students to enable them pass their examinations.
He described this decision as shameful and further raised issues against examinations being used as the only means to assess the performance of students.
In his view, there should be sustained assessment done for students while they are still in school in order to get the broad picture of their performance.
“It is a shame where we have been told the whooping amount of money had been invested in purchasing past questions as the reason for students to be able to pass very well.
“It is a shame,” he said.
He further said examinations body, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has failed over the years following the leakages of examinations questions.
He explained that leakages of exam papers has become the norm in Ghana following the premium placed on examination as the only way to assess students.
WAEC, on Wednesday, September 15, was compelled to reschedule some two papers over what it described as observed exam irregularities.
The Council feared the papers – Physics and Business Management – were leaked.
The Head of the Council’s Test Administration Division, George Ohene-Mantey, said at a press conference that “The cheating social media groups were in full swing prior to the conduct of the mathematics and the English language papers on 9th and 13th September.”
“After the administration of the test, careful scrutiny of the several versions [of suspected leaks] received indicated that extracts of parts of the questions in mathematics elective two and section A of English Language two were circulated on social media platforms.”
Mr Addy told journalists in Accra on Thursday that “WAEC as managers of examinations has failed.
“This is what you get when passing examination becomes a populist agenda.”
Regarding a decision by parliament to haul WAEC to answer questions regarding the leakages, he said “As the lawmakers, parliament has the right to haul WAEC before parliament to look into ways forward in order to improve the quality of examination.
“The first stop should have been the Ministry of Education which has the direct responsibility and the GES, they should have been the first port of call because WAEC is serving under the ministry of education.”
Meanwhile, a former Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku, Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye said the decision to purchase the past questions is apt.
He said parents were already buying the past questions for their children to enable them have a first idea of what could come in their examinations. Hence the government’s decision was just to absorb that burden of the parents.
“The point I want to make is that of a government decides to purchase pass question to students when I was there your parents had to give you money to buy these if the government decides to purchase these for the students it doesn’t mean students should go and pass at all cost.
“I am happy to say that by the grace of God and by the work of the management of our educational system, the performance of the was very healthy.”