West African Examination Council (WAEC), the examinations regulatory body in the sub-region, will from this year resort to the use of technology to augment its fight against examination malpractices.
According to WAEC, it will deploy closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at its examination centres to help in curbing the canker.
Director of WAEC, Reverend Samuel Ollenu, who disclosed the initiative by his outfit, added that in subsequent years, the CCTV cameras will be used in all West African Senior School and Basic Education Certificate Examinations (WASSCE/BECE) centres across the country.
Meanwhile, the council introduced an Item Differentia profile (IDP) software in 2015, as part of the council’s continuous efforts to curb the incidence of examination malpractices.
The software analyses responses of candidates writing objective test at a centre for collusion.
Speaking at an educational seminar for members of the media on its procedures, strategies to curb examination malpractices and its related issues, he lamented the act has poor predictive validity of examination results as well poor ethical and moral values.
Other interventions to eliminate the canker, he enumerated, are sensitisation programmes in schools and examination centres, publication of names and schools of offenders in national newspapers, cancellation of entire results, as well as the use of other detectors.
He bemoaned that examination malpractice results in the admission of unqualified students into our universities, which implies that those who are actually qualified are sometimes indirectly denied admissions.
The situation, he indicated, further leads to the appointment of wrong personnel for vital positions, which ends up in wrong decision making, stunting national development, and resulting in poor national economy and widespread poverty.
“Social miscreants, corrupt officials, armed robbers, poor international image and national insecurity are all part of the consequences of examination malpractice, and there is the need to uproot it as a matter of urgency.”
Reverend Ollenu noted that the issue of examination malpractice should be a national issue, just as in the case of galamsey, urging all to join forces in the fight against it.
He added that there was the need for a collective and collaborative effort by all stakeholders, including the media, to fight to eradicate examination malpractice in our educational system.
The stakeholder effort, he said, was very necessary to protect the integrity of the country’s credibility of certificates issued by WAEC for use in the sub-region and beyond.
He emphasised various forms of examination malpractices, ranging from sending prepared notes into examinations hall, sending programmable calculators and other devices into examination halls, substitution of work scripts, seeking assistance during examinations, collusion with candidates, impersonation and leakages.
On operational procedures, WAEC’s acting Head of Testing Administration Division, Carter Osafo, seized the opportunity to explain that WAEC does not set examination questions; however, it engages experts in various subject areas, who are later trained on the assessment in theory, essay and objective items.
Statistics for 2018 WASSCE candidates
A total of 316,980 candidates from 946 schools will write WASSCE this year.
Statistics for 2018 BECE candidates
For BECE, 509,737 candidates from 16,058 participating schools will write the exams at 1,768 centres.
Source: The Finder
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