Dealing With The Canker Of Exam Malpractices

examA major challenge which has continued to dog the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) over the years, is the incidence of malpractices during the conduct of examinations.

Several interventions, including security measures adopted by the Ghana Education Service (GES) and other stakeholders, have not been able to reduce the occurrence of the malpractices.

It is no wonder therefore that WAEC has withheld the entire results of candidates of 77 Senior High Schools (SHS) across the country, pending the conclusion of investigations into allegations of malpractices against them in the 2013 May/June West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASCCE).

In a statement released on Friday, the WAEC disclosed, it is also withholding the entire results of 2,769 individual candidates from other schools, for various irregularities.

We are not the least surprised about the recurrence of exam malpractices, year-after-year. The reason is that punishment for the malpractices has been limited to the cancellation of results without examination officials who connive with the students to perpetrate the act, being confronted, and sanctioned.

We are of the firm belief that flagrant malpractices cannot occur without the tacit collaboration of some heads of institutions, supervisors, invigilators and other examination officials.

Our position is supported by the WAEC, itself, which, in February this year, recommended to the GES to take disciplinary action against 28 heads of Senior High schools (SHSs), Supervisors and invi-gilators for actions and inactions which led to malpractices recorded in the May/June 2012  Secondary School Examination.

But, so far, nothing has been done to them.  And that is not all.  We recall that in 2009, 17 heads who played various roles in examination malpractices were recommended for sanction.

The story was not different in 2011 either, during which 38 examination officials were mentioned in the WAEC report and recommended for disciplinary action.

As far as we are aware, no examination official has ever been sanctioned by the GES over malpractices.
The question is; is GES part of the grand conspiracy by the examination officials, to continue to condone and superintend over examination malpractices?

Why is it that despite the overwhelming evidence provided by the WAEC continually, not a single examination official has been punished?

We believe that until punishment for examination malpractices are carried beyond the ritual cancellation of results, we would continue to live with them.

The cancellations are, but, just one step, the GES must punish examination official who connive with students severely, to minimize, if not totally eradicate this annual menace and canker.

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