To cure the annual examination malpractices menace, government is to procure 853,009 Kapek Scientific Mathematical Instrument to be used for the 2020 West Africa Examination Council organised examinations.
Valued at GH₵63, 975,657, Parliament yesterday approved a US$3,214,538 tax waiver for the supply of the kits ahead of the examinations scheduled for August.
Per the Finance Committee’s report on the deal, after chief government nominees of WAEC member countries met, it was agreed that “candidates are required to use only customised WAEC mathematical sets.”
By this, all other mathematical sets and scientific calculators would be banned in the examinations and students would only be given the equipment after they have entered the examination hall.
Apart from curbing the menace of examinations malpractices, the Committee observed that providing the mathematical sets would help improve rating of certificates issued by the Council and boost confidence in the country’s education systems.
Moving the motion for the approval of the tax waiver, Finance Committee Chairman, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, said given that the equipment are simple devices, they would last and be replaced when found to be obsolete.
According to Dr Assibey-Yeboah, MP, New Juaben South, some of the sets would be distributed to schools to enable students get acquainted to them.
The equipment, he said, were easy to use and that “every examinee would be able to use them without difficulty.”
Seconding the motion, Kumbungu MP, Ras Mubarak, doubted the feasibility of the students using the equipment this year considering the fact that the examinations were scheduled for August.
To him, the equipment alone was not the antidote to examination malpractices, as he suggested that a more structural approach was employed to nib the practice in the bud.
North Tongu MP and a former Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, want the equipment in the future be produced in Ghana to enhance the capacities of Ghanaian companies.
He questioned the unit cost of the equipment which works out to GH₵75, and asked that the pricing component be made public to the House.
Mr Moses Anim, the Trobu MP, on his part lauded the government for the intervention, positing that it would ease pressure on parents during examinations.
The House, meanwhile, approved a four-million South African rand tax waiver on equipment, tools and hardware in respect of the Ghana Radio Astronomy Project and collocation of the satellite earth observation ground receiving station at Kuntunse for the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI