Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said the Ministry of Education (MOE) should not be blamed for the West African Senior Secondary School Examination (WASSCE) leaked papers saga.
He said “the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) is an independent body which the MOE has absolutely no control over”, and pleaded with stakeholders “not to drag the ministry” into the issue.
Mr. Ablakwa said these on Tuesday when responding to questions from students of the University of Cape Coast, during the Campus Connect programme which gives the MOE the chance to meet and discuss government policies with students.
He said that those blaming governments and MOE over the leaked papers were tarnishing the image of government and the ministry.
“If there is anybody to blame, we should blame ourselves because parents, students and schools were those who pay monies to some officials to enable them to posses the questions,” Mr Ablakwa said
He said although, President John Dramani Mahama has instructed the BNI to team up with the examination body to track the sources of the leakages and bring perpetrators to book, the ministry was in talks with WAEC on how to avoid such future occurrences.
He said that government, through the MOE, was also implementing policies and programmes to ensure that the country’s education became more efficient and effective.
He mentioned, as an example, the conversion of polytechnics into technical universities to ensure that students get hands training and skills acquisition, to meet the current needs of industry to accelerate the country’s economic growth.
Mr. Ablakwa also mentioned the scrapping of students’ allowances at colleges as initiative to increase students’ intake at the colleges.
Currently, he said admission into colleges has shot up to 62.8per cent after the students allowance was scraped.
A deputy minister of communications, Mr. Felix Kwakye Ofosu, said that the government has initiated a project dubbed school connectivity project which is aimed at improving information and communications technology in schools.
From Bernard Benghan, Cape Coast