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WAEC must be held responsible for WASSCE leaks - NUGS

BY: Kweku Zurek
The Head of National Office (HNO) of WAEC, Mrs Wendy E. Addy-Lamptey
The Head of National Office (HNO) of WAEC, Mrs Wendy E. Addy-Lamptey

The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) is calling for a comprehensive investigation into the leakage of examination papers in the ongoing 2020 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

The Union also wants any official of the West African Examinations Council who is found to have played a role in the leakage to be prosecuted.

The President of NUGS, Mr Isaac Jay Hyde told Graphic Online that leakages of examination papers from WAEC have become the norm because the body does not hold its officials accountable for such criminal acts.

According to him, students always bear the psychological and emotional brunt of such leakages because WAEC punishes them by setting new questions and forcing students who may not have had access to the leaks to write the papers again.

"Examination papers always leak from WAEC and their officials are never held accountable, this time WAEC must be seen to be holding its officials accountable," Mr Hyde said in an interview.

"There must be an investigation, whether internal or external, this time we must know who is responsible for this leak. The culprits must also be punished, students cannot continue to suffer while the major actors who always get access to the questions go scot-free only to repeat their acts during the next exam".

The NUGS in a press statement issued today said it was shocked and disgusting that examination papers continue to leak as a result of the willful negligence of WAEC.

The Union also urged WAEC and other stakeholders such as the Ghana Education Service (GES) to put in place strict measures to end this spectacle of exam leakages.

"It is suicidal for the notion that many students are ending their secondary academic lives and potentially qualifying to be enrolled in tertiary institutions with the help of leaked question papers," the statement said.

"The National Union of Ghana Students strongly holds that the failure of authorities to end this cycle of paper leakages further perpetuates the already stark inequities and inequalities in our educational system, as students who can afford to obtain these hacked papers already have a superior advantage over those deprived ones who cannot.

"In addition to perpetuating these inequities deeply rooted in our educational system, it must be noted that this continuous leakage of examination papers goes against all efforts towards building a meritorious society, in which one's success is determined by his or her talent and hard work and not dependent on bow best one can cut corners to be successful.

"It must be noted that education is the backbone of the development of any nation, and that our students are the future of this country. Students should, therefore, be trained in ways that equip them with the necessary skills, values and training such that they will be able to steer the affairs of this country in the right direction. The endless leaking of examination papers only trains our students to adopt unfair means of success in their educational and professional careers, a situation that will only break the moral fibre of society and roll back the little gains we have made as a people".

WAEC to probe leaks

Meanwhile, WAEC has assured that it has commenced a probe into the matter, adding that it will be unfair to blame it for the leaks. 

“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,” the Public Relations Officer for WAEC, Agnes Teye Cudjoe said in a Citi News interview.

Leaks

The leak of the examination papers and confidential information on examiners came to light following allegations by the Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare.

According to him, a Facebook page for sharing the leaked questions was in operation on the internet.

“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.