Editorial: Let’s guard against exams malpractices

The West African Senior High School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) commenced yesterday. Information on the West Africa Examination Council’s (WAEC) website showed that a total of 422,883 candidates from 977 schools are sitting for this year’s examination. The Chronicle is not too happy about this figure, as it shows a drop in the figure for the examination last year. Last year, 446,352 students from 965 schools sat for this important examination.

The Chronicle does not expect a drop in the numbers, since secondary/high school education is now free in the country, which had resulted in increased enrolments. There was also an increase in the number of schools, 965 to 977, from which students registered to write the exams. As a result, we expected more students to participate in this year’s West African Senior High School Certificate Examination.

Nonetheless, we use this medium to congratulate all students participating in this examination. It is our wish that they pass with excellent grades to reward the financial investment made by their parents and the government, and also to bring back the confidence that people have lost in our education.

Back in the days, people took pride in attending government second cycle institutions, but the trend is changing now. Many parents and guardians now prefer sending their wards to private schools, because they are of the view that the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy had affected the quality of teaching and learning. The performance of the students should go a long way to vindicate government’s policy of Free SHS.

Our desire for students to pass out with flying colours does not in any way mean the schools and students should be allowed to cheat or undertake any form of examination malpractice.

We want WAEC to release all the weapons in its arsenal to deter students and schools from engaging in any form of examination malpractices.

Many a time, WAEC cancels some papers and recalls the students to rewrite those papers, because of one malpractice or another, such as leakages, cheating, and many more.  This time round, we want officers of WAEC to be extra vigilant if, indeed, they want to guard against examination malpractices.

We are asking WAEC officers to be extra vigilant, because reports over the years allege that some officials take money from schools in exchange for the examination questions.

The Good Book says in Ezekiel 18:20: “The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child…”

We think innocent and studious students should not be sacrificed for the few recalcitrant ones. To achieve this requires extra vigilance from our officers.

Those who will be caught should be fished out and made to face the necessary sanctions alone. This will deter others from repeating similar offences.

We are also calling on heads of schools and teachers who want their schools to emerge the best to desist from buying question papers for their candidates.

They should rather focus on preparing the students well, through effective and adequate teaching and learning.

If they allow their quest for recognition as the best ranked school to cloud their senses and lead them to do the unthinkable, they may be exposed and the consequences will be dire.





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