Education Think Tank, Africa Education Watch after an independent assessment of the conduct of the 2020 WASSCE for school has outlined some recommendation when taken into action will help end the annual leakages of exams papers.
The Watch suggestions come after the non-profit-making organization (WAEC) responsible for the conduct of the WASSCE in a statement copied to EducationWeb.com.gh admitted the leakage of last year’s WASSCE exam papers.
According to Education Policy Research and Advocacy Organization, the 2020 WASSCE report is devoted to policy and operational recommendations that can contribute to reforming WAEC’s operations and governance.
To address the flaws and improve the large-scale pre-tertiary assessment process, the Civil society organization, Africa Education Watch (EduWatch) has recommend the following:
1. Investigate and prosecute offenders: The Watch has suggested for MoE to work with WAEC, Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General to commission/expedite action on criminal investigations into reported irregularities at the 2020 WASSCE, especially the leakage of examiners contacts from WAEC’s Headquarters, and the leakage of questions.
2. Regulate WAEC: It has urged MoE to set up a Regulator of Assessments, like OFQUAL in the United Kingdom. A Body to provide quality assurance, standards enforcement, and grant/revoke licenses to examining bodies, including WAEC, based on the quality of their assessment practices, including the security of questions.
The Body, EduWatch said should have an office of public complaints where allegations of examination malpractices shall be lodged, investigated with the necessary sanctions applied if required.
3. Break the WAEC monopoly: The Education Ministry has been asked to invite other examining bodies operating in the pre-tertiary education space, specifically in the private sector to compete with the WAEC to improve standards under the proposed Regulator of Assessments.
4. Digitize the question distribution system: Africa Education Watch has recommended for WAEC to introduce an internet-based encrypted email system that sends questions 30 minutes ahead of the commencement of examinations, by which time all candidates should be seated.
The questions according to the Watch should be printed in the open at the Centre and shared. With the provision of Wi-Fi in all SHSs, this recommendation is achievable in the short to medium term.
5. Reinforce ban on the use of mobile phones: The ban on the use of mobile phones by students has also been suggested by the Civil society organization to curb examination malpractice during the conduct of WASSCE.
6. Divorce GES/MoE from the WAEC’s Governing Committee: The education Think Tank has said staff of GES/MoE must be distant from the Governing Councils of WAEC to grant the examining body the independence it requires to reduce any potential for conflict of interest.
7. Engage external consultants to speed up investigations into alleged malpractices: It says WAEC must engage external consultants to speed up the process of investigating malpractices involving candidates. This EduWatch said would further ensure the results of innocent candidates are released together with the entire cohort.
8. MoE should ensure timely release of funds to WAEC: For WAEC to be effective, the Watch has advised the government to release funds on time to ensure the Council carries out the requisite systemic reforms to improve/strengthen its service delivery efficiency and credibility.
9. Review Assessment Methods: The Think Tank says it believes WAEC changing the nature and demands of assessments to more authentic modes alone will be a big step towards minimising the canker of examination malpractices in the country.