The Shameful Repercussions of Examination Malpractices: 2020 WASSSCE Revelation

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Did I hear that some schools are embarking on demonstrations, remonstration and vandalization of properties? Were you surprised these were happening? Unfortunately, I was not; even worse than these is anticipated if we don’t think of acting right as a nation.

Once a student and now a teacher, I have witnessed a series of unacceptable attitudes happening while examinations are conducted in the country and they seem to mean nothing to the ordinary Ghanaian. Until this year, I didn’t even know examination malpractices meant something to us. Why all these occurrences from the 2020 WAEC candidates?

Well, some bigoted politicians argue that the past question books that were supplied to the students led them astray. As to whether the provision of the said books was timely and important, it is not within the domain of this article. Truth be told, almost every student has past question books and so what was the reason they (students) bought them? I guess they were to serve as a guide for their preparation since the good adage, ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ is still true and not a truism yet. Again, when the books were supplied, it wasn’t told them anywhere the questions were going to come from the books. Of course, any discerning student even knows WAEC will not bring more than 10% of its new questions from past questions—it hasn’t happened before.

However, a mention must also be made of the fact that these SHS students are not children, and that they have come into terms with the view that a political party winning an election is hinged on the likelihood of passing their examinations, the reason for their frivolous attitudes towards studying. And this is where our politicians have brought us. I was in a certain school on the eve of writing this unfriendly subject (Science) and what I witnessed made me sad. No student was preparing for any eventuality. Yes, the headmaster of Tweneboa Kodua was ‘very strict’ and the students were gutted because they know their colleagues in other schools were enjoying malpractices. Meanwhile, those colleagues are not more “Ghanaian” than them.

These students have seen the past students who weren’t serious but they passed and are at the tertiary institutions now. They passed through a malpractice approach. It could have been a leakage of examination papers or malpractices that happen in the examination halls. Thus, if they realize failure is seemed to be pursuing them because they also have relaxed and been apathetic towards studies like their seniors did, they will strike. In fact, we have woken to a reality of what we have been overlooking and trivializing for some time now.

Isn’t it disgusting to find students rampaging just because they claim their headmaster was ‘too strict’ on invigilators. What an effrontery! So, the students now dictate to a headmaster (WAEC’s Chief Supervisor) how he should conduct his work? Alas, something is indeed amiss!

Ghana has failed as a nation at fighting examination malpractices. I don’t even know why we write an examination. We have a lot of instances where schools are involved in various forms of malpractices and you don’t find the media see it as a problem. It is shameful. It is alleged that those schools pay the WAEC so when one even reports them, it doesn’t yield any fruit! Or they also do pay the media to shut up? Infiltration of politics into everything we do here has resulted in this. Our politicians have succeeded in destroying the morals we have planted in our wards.

Isn’t it heart breaking to see an SHS student being this audacious to record a video with a phone (an illegal object in the school) in his uniform raining insults at the President? And if he can say this to a president whom his teachers revere and can’t ever say same, what becomes the fate of the teachers who handle such an intransigently shameless, stubborn student?

Students in Bright SHS, Kukurantumi have beaten and wounded WAEC official just because they want the teachers to do their bidding by allowing them to cheat in the examinations. My heart bleeds when I envisage what these students are going to be tomorrow if nothing is done about this in this country.

Thank you, WAEC, for giving us a credible examination this time; restore your integrity. When it is not leaked, we would not say it is; but when it gets leaked, accept it is and cancel it. The credibility and dignity of WAEC exam must be restored. This is a clarion call to the media and the stakeholders of education in Ghana. It is just getting out of hands. The only thing that seems to matter is the thing relevant to politics as if all other things are immaterial. Blow the horns, help WAEC annihilate this filth in the education sector. Let’s wage war against examination malpractice before it destroys us.

This article is written by E. A. Boahen (Prof)


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