WASSCE: Number of withheld results confirm allegations of institutionalised malpractices – Eduwatch

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Think tank, Eduwatch, has said the number of withheld results on suspicion of malpractices in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) confirms their allegations of widespread, institutionalized malpractices in many schools,

A statement they issued said “Preliminary Observations on WASSCE 2021 ResultsFor the second year running, over 50% of students obtained A1-C6 in the core papers. In terms of general targets for WASSCE Pass Rate in the Education Strategic Plan, GES met targets for Maths, Integrated Science and Social Studies. This is great, even though the target for English was missed. Now lets look beyond the national averages.

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“The problem in our education system is the inequitable distribution of learning outcomes. National Averages have always looked good but potentially misleading without conducting a regional and district analysis to find out how many students are passing from Lambuise SH , Buipe SHS, Zabzugu SHS, Takoo SHS etc which have a history of 0% WASSCE pass rates. By 2019, all the about 30 schools in Upper West Region were scoring under 1%, when national pass rates was nearing 50%. It would be great to base any analysis of the results on the disaggregated regional and school level data which is not yet available, but would be done.

“The number of withheld results on suspicion of malpractices increased by 950% from 2020’s 384 to 3667, confirming our allegations of widespread, institutionalized malpractices in many schools, bearing in mind the 2020 baseline was not devoid of malpractices and leakages. While a lot of the 2021 malpractices fell through the cracks due to WAEC’s inertia towards invigilation, a few were caught in the web.

“In addition to the above, subject scripts of candidates in 194 schools representing 20% of WASSCE schools are withheld and still being investigated. These are scripts, not even results. If after conducting exams, you end up withholding and investigating subject scripts from over 20% of your schools, what does it mean for the credibility of your assessment? Congrats to the teachers and students who taught and wrote the papers with integrity and came out with genuine results.”

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) on Wednesday December 8 released the results of the 2021 WASSCE.

The exam body said a total number of 1,339 subject results and 174 entire results in WASSCE have been cancelled for various examination malpractices such as bringing foreign material including mobile phones into the examination hall, tearing off parts of question papers and collusion.

This follows the approval of the 31st Meeting of the Ghana Examinations Committee held in October 2021 a statement released on Wednesday December 8 and signed by Agnes Teye Cudjoe, Head of Public Affairs said.

“The Entire Results of 3,667 candidates have been withheld pending the conclusion of investigations into various cases of examination malpractice detected during and after the conduct of the examination.

 

“The scripts of candidates from 194 schools in certain subjects have also been withheld and are being scrutinised. The withheld results of candidates may be cancelled or released based on the outcome of the investigations,” it added.

It further stated “The Council wishes to express its sincerest gratitude to all stakeholders especially the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service, the Security Agencies and Examiners, for their support and co-operation during the conduct of the examination and release of results.”

Eduwatch had earlier petitioned the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to investigate how some five (5) papers allegedly got leaked during the WASSCE.

They wanted the CID “to investigate the source of the overnight and dawn leakage of 5 papers including today’s re-scheduled Physics paper 2, Food and Nutrition 3, English Language 2, Elective Mathematics 2 and NABTEX English 2”.

WAEC on Wednesday, September 15, was compelled to reschedule some two papers over what it described as observed exam irregularities.

The Council feared the papers – Physics and Business Management – were leaked.

The Head of the Council’s Test Administration Division, George Ohene-Mantey, said at a press conference that “The cheating social media groups were in full swing prior to the conduct of the mathematics and the English language papers on 9th and 13th September.”

“After the administration of the test, careful scrutiny of the several versions [of suspected leaks] received indicated that extracts of parts of the questions in mathematics elective two and section A of English Language two were circulated on social media platforms.”

Eduwatch urged the security agency to take this matter up.

“We are unable to share the content of our Petition since it could interfere with investigations. We will keep working with state agencies to improve accountability and credibility in Ghana’s pre-tertiary assessments sector”, Executive Director of EduWatch, Kofi Asare posted on his Facebook page.

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