First batch of "Akufo-Addo graduates" tainted by violence and exam leakage

Students Writing Exams Students Writing Exams

The 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) has carved a niche for itself as one of the worse in the history of the regional examination body with students' riots, examination malpractices and leakage of several question papers.

The situation has left the first batch of the Free Senior High School students nicknamed "Akufo-Addo graduates" tainted.

Indeed, many have suggested that the attitude of students is borne out of ill-preparation and sense of entitlement given them by the government with President Nana Akufo-Addo calling them, his products.

This has forced the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) to call for an independent investigation especially into the leaks insisting that all persons found culpable should be made to face the law.

The National president NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu, who spoke on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, with Bernard Avle said this will bring an end to leaks during examinations.

"We think that an investigation should be instituted. An open investigation should be instituted and persons found culpable be dealt with. I think there should be an independent investigation body set up by the government."

But the Public Relations Officer for WAEC, Agnes Teye Cudjoe made this known in a Citi News interview.

WAEC says it will be unfair to blame it for these leaks. It, however, said it is committed to maintaining the integrity of the examination, adding that an investigative team has been formed.

"As an examining body, we will not compromise our paper not for anything because we are interested in preserving the integrity of our examination so if there is a website with any WAEC links, posting our questions from our strong room, I do not think it is fair to say that this is coming from WAEC. Our investigative team has alerted us and they are trying to track these websites. We are investigating this development."

However, Angel Carbonu, asked that "this investigation should go beyond the West African Examination Council because the council has its integrity to protect. The Ghana Education Service will have its integrity to protect so they cannot set up any committee," he added.

Mr. Carbonu further stressed that the integrity of the WASSCE certificate was at stake.

"We are very disappointed with what is happening. In fact, the whole of yesterday, myself and my officers were discussing the integrity of this year's exams. There is a particular West African country that we all thought that when to show you their certificate, we need to further interrogate the sanctity of that certificate and if we are not careful, we will also be gradually gravitating towards that situation," he further added.

The Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, indicated that a special page for sharing these leaked questions had been created on social media for interested students.

"We have realised that prior to the Integrated Science paper, there were some leakages. It happened that whatever leaked appeared [in the exam] and students were elated. If you go to Facebook and you type Mr. Right, you will see a page called WAEC exams leaked room run by Mr. Right. He has about 6,400 followers and the business is usually done on WhatsApp. I am only mentioning Mr. Right, because the brand was embossed on some of the questions we saw," Mr. Asare said on Eyewitness News.

He pointed out that the problem of WASSCE questions leaking has been allowed to fester due to constant denials by the WAEC and the Ghana Education Service (GES).

"We have raised issues about WAEC and GES. WAEC is an assessment body. They are examiners and assessors. They are supposed to evaluate GES, but what happens is that whenever there is a leakage, WAEC issues a statement on that day and GES issues a statement and deny. They are interested in protecting the sanctity of their institution."

Kofi Asare alleged a sheet containing the telephone numbers and email addresses of the examiners was also being shared alongside the leaked papers.

"What broke the camel's back was when I saw a sheet containing the telephone numbers and email addresses of the examiners."

Kofi Asare's allegation comes on the back-student protests and in some cases, physical assault of WAEC officials by WASSCE candidates who claim the officials prevented them from cheating in the exams.

In one of the instances where a WAEC official was assaulted, a teacher is alleged to have supported a candidate to refer to a foreign material with already-solved questions.

Source: The Herald