The West African Examinations Council and the Ghana Education Service (GES) have urged candidates writing this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to be focused and ignore fake examination questions in circulation.
Making reference to some supposed leaked Integrated Science question papers that were in circulation on various social media platforms over the weekend, the two institutions said they were fake and of no value.
In view of the development, the WAEC and the GES said they had taken the necessary steps to bring to book those behind the circulation of the fake examination question papers.
They said this in separate statements issued last Saturday in reaction to reports of a purported leakage of the 2020 WASSCE Integrated Science Papers 1 and 2.
Theoretical papers for the WASSCE take off today, with all the 375,737 candidates from 967 schools expected to be in attendance.
Starting with Integrated Science, theoretical papers will run until September 5, 2020, when the five-week-long examination will be brought to an end with Principles of Cost Accounting and Technical Drawing.
According to WAEC, its attention was drawn to the circulation of several fake versions of the Integrated Science 1 and 2 Papers to be administered today on social media platforms, and that the council wished to allay the fears of all stakeholders, especially, candidates, about the alleged leakage.
“Scrutiny of the images being shared on social media indicates once again, the activities of certain individuals mainly operators of rogue websites and WhatsApp groups aimed at leading candidates astray and discrediting the Council,” the statement, signed by the Head of Public Affairs at WAEC, Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, said.
It said the council was very vigilant and had alerted the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police and the National Security about the threats posed by rogue websites and WhatsApp groups.
Assuring all its stakeholders that it had put in place all the necessary measures to ensure the smooth conduct of WASSCE for school candidates, the WAEC urged all the candidates “to stay focused, continue with their preparation for the examination and comply with the COVID-19 protocols in order to keep safe during the period.”
While appreciating the interest shown in this year’s WASSCE for school candidates, the council cautioned all stakeholders to be circumspect in putting out information on the examination.
GES on integrity
The GES said the examination was being managed by responsible men and women who would never sacrifice the integrity of the process for any other expediency.
“The general public might recall the purported leakage of examination questions has become an annual ritual and should be seen in that light and, therefore, should not allow themselves to be deceived by propagandists seeking to achieve some mischievous objectives,” a statement signed by the Head of Public Relations of the GES, Mrs Cassandra Twum Ampofo, said.
The statement said all efforts were being made to track those behind the purported leaked fake paper.
It urged parents and guardians to continue to encourage their children and wards to be focused and not to be distracted by the purported leaked questions.
However, as the examination kick-starts today, the worry of WAEC is the number of rogue website operators who are peddling false information from fake websites flooded with fake timetables, fake examination question papers and other examination-related information.
The Head of the National Office of WAEC, Mrs Wendy Enyonam Addy-Lamptey, cautioned the public, particularly candidates writing the WASSCE, to be wary of operators of such rogue websites.
She said, for instance, that currently there were fake Integrated Science question papers that had been put into circulation on various social media platforms over the weekend and meant to be written today, Monday, August 3, 2020 at the ongoing WASSCE for School Candidates.
Mrs Addy-Lamptey said the activities of those websites included the publication of fake examination papers, fake examination timetable, deceit of unsuspecting candidates and the public to upgrade their examination results, among others.
In a goodwill message, Mrs Addy-Lamptey wished all the final-year students the best of success and encouraged them to abide by the rules and regulations of the examination and avoid any form of malpractice.
“Do not take any foreign materials especially mobile phones into the examination hall. I also wish to advise you to do independent work and refrain from seeking any form of assistance from either candidates or non-candidates.
“Do not be led astray by the rogue websites and WhatsApp platforms with all kinds of fake information and be focused and continue with the preparation and writing of your papers,” the message said, and advised them to exit those groups immediately.
To the supervisors and invigilators, she appealed to them to be guided by the rules for the conduct of the examination as well as the COVID-19 policy guidelines.
Also be reminded that mobile phones are not allowed at the examination centres.
“We invite the Ghana Education Service (GES), heads of schools, supervisors, invigilators, the police and the security agents, media and all other stakeholders to play their roles to promote the ethics and integrity of the examination,” the message added.