The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has described African Education Watch independent assessment report on 2020 WASSCE in the country as misleading.
Head of Public Affairs, WAEC National, Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, at a press conference in Accra, noted that the Council was not engaged by Africa Education Watch before outdooring its report.
According to Ms Teye-Cudjoe, if Africa Education Watch also known as Eduwatch had engaged the council, it would have been better informed about the council’s processes and procedures before coming to its conclusion and recommendations.
The press conference was in response to African Education Watch (EDUWATCH) an education think tank’s report based on its independent assessment of the conduct of the 2020 WASSCE.
Eduwatch in its report raised issues over leakage of examiners’ contact details, malpractices involving invigilators, primary source of leaked examination papers, delayed release of full WASSCE Results and relationship between WAEC, Ghana Education Service (GES) and Ministry of Education (MoE).
She said some aspects of the methodology used by EDUWATCH raised issues of credibility and fairness.
On the leakage of examiners contact details, the council said it had initiated investigations into the development and assured the public of fairness.
According to Ms Teye-Cudjoe, the Council engaged in the swapping of scripts across the regions, exclusion of school names on Script envelopes and Mark sheets.
She explained that Team leaders vetted scripts marked by Assistant Examiners and Chief examiners vetted scripts marked by Team leaders.
“The vetting process was undertaken for quality control and ensure that marks were awarded in line with marking scheme.”
She said “WAEC’s monitoring of marking processes did not indicate any irregularities as a result of the unfortunate incident and as such we find it mind boggling that Eduwatch should continue to cast doubt on the credibility of the examination.
Indeed an analysis of the performance statistics for the WASSCE for the past three years (2018-2020) does not show any abnormal improvement in performance.”
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe said the council had however identified “a technological failure” which had been addressed to ensure that the incident (leakage of examiners contact details) did not recur.
She further said it was inaccurate that almost all the papers apart from Integrated Science and Social Studies leaked and the council had to change questions.
“WAEC did not replace any questions paper because of leakage. There are standard procedures which have to be followed when any paper has to be replaced and no member country can replace any paper without following due process.
She said WAEC still stood by its August 19, 2020 press statement that indicated that several fake versions of questions including those of Integrated Science 2 and 1, Social Studies 2 and 1, Chemistry 3, Practical Alternative A, and Economics (2 and 1) papers were shared on social media platforms.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe said, “WAEC does not transport questions papers to examination centres in the night prior to or at dawn of examination day.
According to her, on the issue of malpractices involving invigilators, instructions for use by Supervisors at examination centres stipulated that “No member of staff should invigilate any subject which he or she teaches whether in the examination year or any other year.”
This is strictly adhered to by school authorities in the drawing up of the invigilation timetable.
She said “while there may be a few bad nuts in the system, it is unfair for EDUWATCH to use that to indict teachers with respect to integrity.
The Head of Public Affairs of WAEC National Office said the Council had not withheld results of 60,000 candidates as stated by Eduwatch report
“WAECs press release of November 30, 2020 indicated that “scripts of candidates from 122 schools in certain subjects are undergoing scrutiny”.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe said, “It must be emphasised that the Council carries out thorough investigative process when issue of malpractice are alleged, to ensure fairness. This includes interviewing of candidates.”
On the relationship between WAEC, Ghana Education Service and Ministry of Education, she said it was highly impossible for any member of the Council to dictate or influence members to take inappropriate action as suggested by Eduwatch.
According to her, WAEC was committed to the conduct of credible examinations as well as adopt innovative measures to improve processes especially in the fight against examination malpractices.
She said WAEC welcomed suggestions from the public that would enhance its operations.