Examination malpractice: Let’s instil right values in our children
The silence of the activities of rogue websites since the beginning of this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) gave the public some hope that at least, for the first time in recent years, the examination would pass without the usual headlines, mostly for the wrong reasons.
This went on until last week Saturday when the headline “WAEC uncovers WASSCE cheats” trended and indeed, is still trending, emanating from a press conference organised by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
The conduct of teachers, some of whom were picked up raised eyebrows regarding the actions of the very people detailed to take care of the examination centres.
At the press conference, the council announced that it had uncovered a grand scheme by some school authorities and candidates to cheat in the ongoing WASSCE, leading to some arrests.
WAEC said during an operation by its specially trained monitoring agents, many candidates were caught with mobile phones and other electronic gadgets in the examination halls.
The Daily Graphic finds this unacceptable, recalling how one of the examination invigilators, the late Asare Minako, who insisted on preventing candidates from carrying mobile phones into the examination hall on October 11, 2005, was brutally murdered by the candidates.
To ensure that such a heinous act does not get lost in history, the WAEC named one of its foremost centres after this committed personality who wanted to maintain the sanctity of examinations conducted by the council.
It is common knowledge among teachers and students, particularly candidates preparing to write or who are writing any examination administered by the WAEC that carrying mobile phones into examination halls or even within the premises of an examination centre attracts outright cancellation of the entire examination of any candidate caught in the act.
To ensure that this punitive measure does not come as a surprise to anybody, the WAEC every year, before the beginning of both WASSCE and the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), embarks on a sensitisation drive for both candidates and parents as well as the general public on the dos and don’ts of the examinations.
In this whole enterprise, parents and teachers have a crucial role to play because they are very much involved in the early development of children.
It is important parents do not give their children the wrong impression that they can do anything under the sun and get away with it.
The Daily Graphic is worried that after the WAEC worked hard to block the loophole of the activities of rogue website operators, teachers, in whose hands the children are entrusted to prepare them for the examination, are rather inculcating wrong habits into them.
What a shame!
We are wondering if this is a testimony that the teachers are not teaching well or that they do not complete the various syllabi before the conduct of the examination and so, in order not to be blamed they engage in such activities.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) and, for that matter, the Ministry of Education has trumpeted the issue of contact hours as the reason for Ghana to continue writing the Ghana-only version of the WASSCE.
We dare say that those teachers involved in such acts are an embarrassment to the teaching profession and must bow their heads in shame.
The Daily Graphic is at a loss as to why teachers, who are to guide and direct the children to be law-abiding citizens should be the very ones supporting the children to cheat.
We call on WAEC to enforce its rules and regulations to serve as a deterrent to other students.
Ghanaians are waiting to know the number of candidates who were caught with mobile phones and smartwatches in the examination halls as promised by the Head of Public Affairs of WAEC, John Kapi, by the close of this week.
All Ghanaians must work to ensure that the certificates issued by WAEC remain relevant and respected globally.
This can only be done through the collaboration of all and not only WAEC.
Security is a shared responsibility and not for the police or the security services alone; we all have a role to play.