TWO staff of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and others, have been arrested by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) in connection with the recent leakage of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) questions.
They have since been granted bail and are assisting the BNI in its investigations.
The head of the Ghana office of WAEC, Very Rev. Sam Nii Nmai Ollenu, who disclosed this to The Ghanaian Times in Accra on the sidelines at a press soiree on Monday to brief journalists on the 33rd Annual Conference for Educational Association in Africa to be held in Accra, however, could not tell the total number of people that had been arrested so far.
The Council cancelled five papers of the 2015 BECE nationwide following report of leakage of examination papers.
Rev. Ollenu said as part of the investigation, he was invited by the Director of the BNI to its headquarters where a friendly interaction was held on the leakage and what necessitated the leakage.
Thereafter, he said, some staff of BNI were detailed to the council’s headquarters where they took turns to conduct independent findings on the processes of setting examination questions, printing as well as the conveying or transportation system in the quest of unraveling what might have necessitated the leakage.
He said it was during that process that the two staff were invited to the headquarters where they were interrogated but were later granted bail.
Very Rev. Ollenu described the leakage as worrying noting that the best option the Council could do was to cancel the papers’ and reset new ones.
He explained that for the council to present credible candidates to other educational institutions and to match industrial need, was to have the papers cancelled to create a level playing field for the candidates to compete.
WAEC, he said, did not benefit in any way to cancel papers of candidates rather, it came with huge financial cost to be borne by the council.
The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of WAEC regional body, Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, commended Ghana WAEC for the bold initiative to ensure that the papers were cancelled,
He explained that the council had a procedure to address issues and the decision to cancel the papers was the right thing to do.
Dr. Uwadiae said the council had a system tracker called the ‘differential software’ that could detect malpractices at any examination centre or at a particular school.
Touching on the forthcoming conference on the theme, ‘ Quality assurance in educational assessment in the era of rapid change’, he said it would be held at the Movinpick Ambassador Hotel from August 24 to 28, and was expected to attract over 300 participants from the region, parts of Africa, Europe and the United States of America.
The conference, he said, was organised annually by the Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA), a non-profit making organisation established to promote cooperation among examining and assessment bodies in Africa.
The conference, he said, served as a platform during which innovative and research based ideas on examination and assessment were exchanged among assessment scholars and practitioners from Africa and other parts of the country.
He said the conference is also a benchmarking exercise during which best practices in educational assessment were shared.
By Francis Asamoah Tuffour