The Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch, Mr Kofi Asare, has said although the West African Examinations Council (WACE) is opened to reforms, the body cannot on its own undergo those changes.
He told Dzifa Bampoh in interview on the First Take on 3FM Thursday June 17 that it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the examinations body goes through the reforms.
His comments come after the launch of their report which revealed widespread malpractices, violence and chaos in the 2020 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The report further noted that these malpractices are only symptoms of system deficiencies that have been either overlooked or swept under the carpet for many years.
The report said the credibility of WAEC’s examination systems is important in determining/defining the quality of Ghana’s education system.
The adoption and observance of international assessment standards is critical to sustaining WAEC’s and the WASSCE’s credibility.
However, acts like leakage of markers contact details and questions have strong potential to reduce the credibility of WAEC’s assessment systems and standards, and by extension, the credibility and recognition of the WASSCE certificate.
The absence of a Regulator of Assessments that ensures WAEC’s compliance to international standards creates a vacuum in institutional accountability and the observance of quality assurance in assessment standards.
The malpractices, violence and chaos that characterized the 2020 WASSCE examinations are only symptoms of system deficiencies that have been either overlooked or swept under the carpet for many years.
Anything short of a holistic reform of our assessment system only provides maximum assurance of the recurrence of similar if not worse malpractices in 2021 and beyond.
The onus lies on the MoE to choose between the timely nursing of a curable sore and the continued delusion of its absence until it becomes an incurable cancer.
Mr Asare told Dzifa that “This report feeds into government’s declared intention to strength the assessment sector as indicated by the President in his state of the nation address and also as re-emphised severally by the Minister of Education.
“We as a think tank felt it obligatory to assist government in delving into the root cause of examination malpractices more specifically leakages from WAEC instead of always focusing on solving the symptoms which normally occur in the examination room.
“So, yes we have been engaging WAEC since the report was out . In fact, we started engaging WAEC on the report before the launch . Last week we started engaging WAEC on the report. We have no doubt that WAEC is committed to reforms but we have also no doubt that WQEAC cannot reform itself because WACE is only a contractor that has been engaged by government to assess their students for them and so the only person that can reform WAEC is the government of Ghana.”