Exam malpractice in Ghana range from copying and other sorts of cheating popularly known as ‘expo’, to paper leaks known in students’ parlance as ‘Lagadia’.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, has warned candidates sitting for the 2017 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to desist from all forms of examination malpractice in order to avoid the very grave consequences.
This warning was contained in a statement from the Ghana Ministry of Education on Wednesday, 29th March, 2017. According to Dr. Opoku-Prempeh, cheating in exams could attract serious penalties ranging from results cancellation to prosecution.
The Education Minister urged the candidates to put in their best during the exams and give back what they have received throughout their long years in high school.
“This is the crowning moment of your Senior High School education and we trust that you have applied yourselves diligently to studies, have used your time judiciously and ready for the exams,” Dr. Prempeh said.
He also expressed confidence in supervisors, invigilators and inspectors to discharge their duties professionally by conducting themselves in accordance with the rules and regulations of the examinations.
Ghana’s 2017 WASSCE
The 2017 West African Senior School Certificate Examination has commenced. Statistics from the West African Examination Council (WAEC) indicate that a total of 289,207 final-year public and private Senior High School candidates will be sitting for the exams in Ghana.
The 289,207 WASSCE candidates who are from 916 SHSs are made up of 147,597 males and 141,610 females. The number represents an increase of 14,945 from last year’s number which was 274,262.
The WAEC figures also show that the Ashanti Region has the highest number of candidates – 67,513 comprising 34,198 males and 33,315 females, while the Upper West Region has the lowest number – 8,356 candidates comprising 4,621 males and 3,735 females.
WAEC Boss Warn 2017 WASSCE Candidates against Malpractice
The Head of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), Very Reverend Dr. Sam Nii Nmai Ollennu had also warned 2017 candidates of the West African Senior School Examinations earlier on, to avoid examination malpractice due to its dire consequences.
Rev. Ollennu issued out the warning during the WASSCE Distinction Awards ceremony held in Accra few weeks ago. He made it clear that WAEC now has a newly developed anti-malpractice software, the Item Differentia Profile (IDP) which aid in the detection of examination malpractices; stating that 2,293 candidates of the 2016 WASSCE had some or all of their results seized for cheating during the exams.
The WAEC Boss appealed to supervisors and invigilators to be more vigilant in carrying out their responsibilities, while affirming the council’s commitment to the fight against exam malpractice in Ghana, especially that of paper leakages.
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Exam Malpractice in Ghana
The issue of exam malpractice in Ghana has continued to escalate over the years, reaching a very worrisome level last year. The malpractices range from copying and other sorts of cheating popularly known as ‘expo’, to paper leakages known in students’ parlance as ‘Lagadia’.
During the 2016 WASSCE, some papers leaked before the exam dates, with students solving the questions and copying the answers anywhere possible, including their body parts.
The Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) is not left out in the vice of exam malpractice in Ghana. In 2015, about five BECE papers were leaked, leading to the cancellation of the papers.
How To Curb The Problem of Exam Malpractice in Ghana
The menace became so disturbing that the Ghana Education Service (GES) decided to start employing the services of personnel from the Bureau for National Investigation (BNI) as escorts during the transportation of papers to various examination centres across the country.
GES also came up with the decision to print exam papers outside the country, and conveying them by air to examination centres. The council precisely, flew papers to Tamale in the Northern Region, Kumasi in the Ashanti Region papers and Takoradi in the Western Region during the 2016 WASSCE.
The Education Service had also hinted at extending the punishments for examination malpractices to teachers and school heads whenever they are found culpable.