The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has recorded unprecedented irregularities in the course of the ongoing 2023 WASSCE across the country.
This came to light at West African Examinations Council press briefing held in Accra and presented by the Mr. John K. Kapi, Head of Public Affairs.
Among the irregularities recorded by WAEC officials during the course of the examination include: Foreign materials on candidates in examination hails. A number of the candidates have been caught with prepared notes, text books and pages torn from their textbooks with the intention of using them to their advantage in the examination hall.
Also, snapshots were taken of question papers and circulated via social media. The Council’s
security network tracked some of these snapshots to their sources. Social Studies 1 was tracked to Lawrence SHS, Sunyani where the teacher who circulated the post has been arrested. Biology 2 was tracked to Mountain High SHS, Agona Ashanti. Elective Mathematics 2 was tracked to Adu Gyamfi SHS, Agona Ashanti.
Mr. John K. Kapi said WAEC has evidence of snapshots of question papers taken in a vehicle that was used to convey question papers from the depot to the examination centre, indicating that the question paper packets were opened in the vehicle.
He disclosed that, there were smuggling of mobile phones and other electronic gadgets into the examination halls adding that, several students have been caught with mobile phones on them in the examination halls.
“During the Government paper, eighty six mobile phones were seized from candidates at the Otoo Memorial SHS, Bibiani. Some candidates have also been caught with smart watches.
Mr. Kapi averred that, at Only Believe SHS, Kukurantumi, a national service person who attempted to write the 7” Government paper for one of the candidates was apprehended by WAEC staff and handed over to the police. “Also at the same centre, two other suspected impersonators absconded. One impersonator and his accomplice a teacher, were arrested at Christian IPS, Kukurantumi. At Ideal College, Lapaz campus, there was an attempt to insert scripts of seven absentee candidates into the script envelopes”.
Mr. John K. Kapi says, it took the vigilance of their personnel at the centre to avert the anomaly and now, the supervisor have been relieved of his duties and investigations ongoing.
On the issue of inside-examination-hall malpractice/syndicate cheating, Mr. John Kapil said it was very rampant per the report received from a number of their personnel.
“In some instances, solutions are written on white boards for candidates to copy and these are hurriedly cleaned upon the arrival of a WAEC inspector at the centre. Some invigilators were found with photocopied solutions to questions which were being distributed to candidates in the examination halls. Some of the solutions were also deposited at the urinals for the candidates to pick up. Those who were found culpable were apprehended by our monitoring teams and handed over to the police”.
The Head of Public Affairs further revealed that, some schools adopted the practice of locking their school gates contrary to the revised rules. “At Otoo Memorial Senior High School, Bibiani our monitoring team was kept behind the gate for close to ten minutes. The team had to use an alternative route to gain access into the school. It was at this centre that eighty-six mobile phones were picked up from the candidates”.
The Council Mr. Kapi stressed, has sighted a report that alleges leakage of examination questions. “We would like to inform our publics that the Council’s investigative machinery is on high alert and constantly monitoring the operations of the rogue websites and other social media handles where these posts are made. Some of the sites monitored are: Main Source, Exams Source, WASSCE 2023, BECE/WASSCE House of Genuine Questions and Legit WASSCE Source”.
He pointed out that, the Council releases question papers to supervisors from the depots from 8am to allow them to reach their centres to start the examination at 8:30am saying, the questions are usually sighted on social media after the commencement of the examination at which time all candidates are expected to be seated and issued with question papers. “If anyone sights questions trending on Social Media after the release of questions from our depots and commencement of the paper, that cannot be regarded as leakage. This trend of snapping of question papers of ongoing examination and posting solutions to same is very worrying and undermines the integrity of the examination”.
Mr. John Kapi on behalf of the Council assured the numerous stakeholders that, it would stop at nothing to ensure that sanity continues to prevail in the ongoing examination.
“We wish to use this this opportunity to caution members of the public to refrain from causing unnecessary anxiety among candidates and well-meaning citizens. Our doors are wide open and we welcome any individuals or groups who wish to discuss any issues related to the examination”.