Obuasi Centre for WASSCE closed down

Rev.Samuel Nii Nmai OllennuThe Obuasi Centre for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), has been closed down, following massive examination malpractices detected there last year.

The centre which holds examinations for private candidates in Obuasi and its environs has been taken off the list of Centres of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

As a result, WAEC has opened a new centre at Bekwai and Dunkwa-on-Offin for candidates within the catchment area.

Besides, WAEC recorded the highest number of examination malpractices in the Brong-Ahafo Region last year.

According to available statistics, one out of five candidates that wrote the 2014 WASSCE in Brong Ahafo was involved in examination malpractices.

Speaking to The Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday at a stakeholders meeting on examinations, the National Head of WAEC, Very Rev. Samuel Nii Nmai Ollennu, expressed regret about the situation and called for a holistic approach towards eradicating the menace.

He said there was an urgent need for stakeholders in education to come together and devise ways to minimise, if not eliminate, the cancer from the educational system.

According to him, WAEC could not single-handedly deal with the situation considering factors such as the use of technology by candidates to cheat.

“We expect those outside the educational sector, such as the police, judiciary and the media to join in the fight against the practice by bringing to book candidates who engage in such activities”.

Rev. Ollennu said malpractices such as impersonation, collusion, use of foreign materials, and phones should be dealt with without fear or favour to deter others from doing same.

He cited a case in which a police escort and a driver while in transit, were found opening the sealed question papers and transmitting the contents using phones to “Whatsapp” waiting candidates for a fee.

He said the case had been reported to the police but it was yet to be sent to court, because the police said it was waiting for the Attorney-General’s advice.

Again, recalling an incident in which a candidate physically assaulted an invigilator with a sharp pencil, Mr. Ollennu said people should be sensitised on the effects of the act.

The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, in a speech read on her behalf, condemned examination malpractices and called for a collective effort in the fight against the canker.

Making reference to a situation in which a whole community in the Ashanti Region came up to beat WAEC officials for trying to stop their wards from engaging in cheating, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said society should rather condemn such acts instead of condoning them.

A senior lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Jonathan Fletcher, urged WAEC to use metal detectors to check candidates before entering the examination halls to curtail the use of phones in examinations.

He called on WAEC to apply stiff sanctions to candidates found culpable in such activities, while at the same time revising its rules and regulations on examinations.

By Charles Amankwa    

 

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