The government has given the assurance that all candidates for 2021 and beyond will benefit from scientific mathematical tools that are examination compliant.
The scientific mathematical tool is a mathematical set and a non-programmable scientific calculator combined.
The outgoing Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who announced this when he took his turn at the ongoing vetting of ministerial nominees, added that the intention was to purchase those maths sets for all SHS students to enable them to familiarise themselves with the items in preparation for their examinations.
Explaining the purchase of the maths sets, he said on December 6, 2018, Transnational Ltd wrote to him, introducing Bluegrass Ltd and a scientific mathematical tool that is examination compliant.
“I then wrote to GES on this matter, as the Ghana Education Service (GES) has a seat on WAEC International’s council and runs senior high schools in the country. GES subsequently wrote to WAEC for further clarification.
“On February 5, 2019, WAEC wrote back to GES and stated that the issue of malpractice had been discussed extensively in a retreat organised by the council in 2018 in Lagos and members agreed that the council should formulate a policy requiring students to use only WAEC-approved sets of mathematical instruments,” Dr Prempeh explained.
He said subsequently, the WAEC wrote to the GES explaining that the mathematical sets were designed with Cornfill Ltd and “on February 12, 2019, the Director-General (D-G) of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, wrote to me, copying him on the WAEC letter dated February 5, 2019 and a letter from Cornfill Ltd recommending the procurement of WAEC-approved mathematical sets to be used in WAEC exams as they fall in line with WAEC recommendations and requirements”.
Dr Prempeh, who is currently the minister-designate for the Energy Ministry, added that on March 12, 2019, the ministry wrote to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for approval to procure the items by sole sourcing due to the urgency of having the instruments in place for the 2020 WASSCE, in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, at a price of GH¢75 per item, totalling GH¢63,975,675 for 853,009 pieces.
“Unfortunately, the delivery of the items for the May/June 2020 WASSCE was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions which affected production abroad, and the first batch did not arrive in time for the benefit of the candidates,” Dr Prempeh further explained.
He said the first batch that was received had been paid for and payment for the remainder would be made upon receipt.
Dr Prempeh explained that he accepted the item because it was based on the recommendation by the WAEC with advice from the DG of the GES, “this is not a type of maths set you can get to buy anywhere.”
He said the company that was to have delivered the maths sets for the 2020 WASSCE wrote a letter explaining the challenges it faced in procuring the item because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
“Subsequently, they delivered part, we paid part and they will deliver the rest and we will pay,” Dr Prempeh said, stressing that even though it arrived late, it was not a disposable item and therefore, was still relevant.