10 Exam officials picked up for malpractice

10 Exam officials picked up for malpractice

Luck ran out on 10 examination officials and an imposter when they were arrested for their alleged involvement in examination malpractice in the course of the just-ended Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

The officials, who were supervisors, invigilators and a router, were picked up by security officials in Accra between September 16 and 18, this year, while the examination was going on.

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Routers collect question papers from the depot and distribute them to centres along an assigned route.

Their arrest was based on underground investigations by West African Examinations Council (WAEC) security officers.

The 11 suspects were caught with mobile phones, and checks on the phones revealed snapshots of  question papers, including those that were written on the day of the arrest.

Suspects

Most of the suspects were arrested at a single school, Ambassador School of Excellence at Dansoman, where Reuben Aninakwah, a supervisor; Dela Gavor, Eric Sowah and Theophillus Gyimah, all invigilators, were picked up.

The rest are George Appiah Anane, a supervisor at Trinity School; Jephterm Kwame Nkrumah, supervisor; Richard Gmayasam, invigilator, and Kodia James Smith, assistant supervisor, all at the E. P. Basic School; Felix Ansah, invigilator at the Martyrs of Uganda Basic School, Mamprobi, and Emmanuel Anim Agyapong, a router.

Also arrested was a self-styled WAEC official, Lord Kwesi Gaurvin, who went to the Trinity School while the examination was ongoing and introduced himself to the supervisor as an external official from WAEC.

Routine work

Briefing the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Security Coordinator of WAEC, Lt Col Rexford S. Adu (retd), explained that the arrests were based on intelligence.

“Our first port of call was the Martyrs of Uganda Basic School, where we arrested an invigilator with a mobile phone containing some questions in a classroom,” he said.

He added that as security officers continued their operation in other schools, they arrived at the Christ Ambassador School of Excellence at Dansoman, where the snapshot was allegedly taken.

Lt Col Adu said at the school, the supervisor led the team to the class where the snapshots were taken, and upon interrogation and checks on his phones, most of the shots of the examination papers that were circulating, including that day’s paper, were found on his phone, leading to his arrest  and three others.

He said all the 10 people arrested confessed to the malpractice and were made to write their statements and granted bail at the WAEC Police Station.

The WAEC security coordinator said the cases would be forwarded to the Ministries Divisional Crime Officer, who would then give the go ahead for them to be processed for court, after investigations had been concluded.

No mobile phones

Lt Col Adu said the next step would be to get the requisite agencies with the appropriate technology to decode the seized phones to access the information on them.

He was happy that apart from the cases in Accra, there was no report from other parts of the country, adding that in the event of any other reported cases, the culprits would equally be dealt with.

Rogue websites

Asked about the activities of rogue website operators, he said because of the short duration of the BECE, their activities were limited. “

“More so, these are young ones who do not have mobile phones, but the business of these rogue website operators revolves round the availability of mobile phones,” he said.

He described the involvement of teachers who were used as invigilators and supervisors as a “new trend” and was happy that during the interrogation session, the metro GES staff were on the panel to listen to the reasons.

Lt Col Adu said after the police had finished with the culprits, they would be handed over to the GES, which had its own disciplinary measures to apply.

Modus operandi

Touching on the modus operandi of the suspects, he said Agyapong was assigned to collect question papers from the Wesley Grammar SHS depot and deliver them to the seven examination centres along his route.

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“At the Christ Ambassador School of Excellence Centre, which was the first centre on that route, Agyapong, with the connivance of the supervisor, Aninakwah, took snapshots of the question papers and shared them to a Whatsapp group.

“The other invigilators at the centre, who have been arrested, also took shots of the question papers and circulated them,” he alleged. 

Self-styled

On the self-styled WAEC official, he said during interrogation, Gaurvin confessed that he was following up on candidates from his grandmother’s school who were writing at the centre.

Lt Col Adu told the Daily Graphic that Gaurvin drove straight to the examination centre, parked his vehicle and walked to the supervisor and introduced himself as an external officer of WAEC and went into the examination hall and was virtually invigilating.   

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