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85 candidates busted for irregularities in the ongoing WASSCE

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and other security agencies have arrested 86 candidates for using mobile phones in examination halls in the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

“During the government paper, eighty-six mobile phones were seized from candidates at Otoo Memorial SHS, Bibiani. Some Candidates have also been caught with smartwatches,” said Mr. John K. Kapi, Head of Public Affairs, WAEC National Office during a press conference to give an update on the conduct of the 2023 WASSCE for school candidates.
Mr. Kapi warned candidates that should they be caught using mobile devices in examination halls, their entire examination would be cancelled.

Mr. Kapi told journalists that the Council obtained evidence on some school heads who took shots of question papers whilst transporting them from the depot to the examination centre.

According to Mr. Kapi, WAEC was looking into how the packets containing the question papers were opened in the said vehicle.“ This trend of snapping sight question papers of ongoing examination and posting solutions to same is very worrying and undermines the integrity of the examination.”

He said some schools had devised grand schemes for cheating in examination centres.
“Information reaching us indicates that some of the schools charged their candidates varying sums of money ranging between five hundred and thousand cedis to enable them to get assistance during the examination.

“This practice has given those candidates a certain sense of entitlement and they want to be allowed to have their way,” he said.

Mr. Kapi chastised some school heads for their antagonism toward WAEC’s monitoring teams. “Some persons have been arrested for attempting to bribe our personnel to make them look the other way so that the cheating could go on,” he added.

He said the council has received reports of impersonation and insertion of scripts adding that at “Only Believe SHS” at Kukurantumi in the Eastern Region, a national service person attempted to write the government paper for one of the candidates, but luck ran out on him.

“At the same centre, two other suspected impersonators absconded. One impersonator and his accomplice a teacher, were arrested at Christian IPS, Kukurantumi.
At the Ideal College, Lapaz Campus, there was an attempt to insert scripts of seven absentee candidates into the script’s envelopes.”

He said the vigilance of the council’s personnel at the said Centre averted the anomaly, adding that the supervisor had been relieved of his duties and investigations were ongoing.
He also spoke of syndicated cheating, claiming that in some cases, solutions were written on whiteboards for candidates to copy, and were cleaned upon the arrival of a WEAC inspector at the Centres.

Mr. Kapi explained that because there were no standardised examination venues, the Council had to make do with what was available.

“Some invigilators were found with photocopied solutions to questions which were being distributed to candidates in the examination hall. Some of the solutions were also deposited at the urinals for the candidates to pick them up.

“Those who were found culpable were apprehended by our monitoring teams and handed over to the Police,” he recounted.
Mr. Kapi said that the WAEC would spare no effort to ensure that sanity prevailed in the ongoing examination.

He further refuted claims of intimidation by WAEC officials who visited various examination centres.

“Supervisors, invigilators and school proprietors who have made it their stock in trade to divert the attention of these poor candidates from their books to wait for help in examination halls will have their names and particulars handed over to the Ghana Education Service for appropriate disciplinary action.”

He lauded the excellent collaboration between the council, the Ghana Police Service, and the National Intelligence Bureau.

He said he was pleased that the Council’s pre-examination activities yielded results, as many schools were adhering to the rules governing the conduct of examinations.

The written papers for the WASSCE for School candidates, 2023, started on August 21 at all 834 centres across the country, and will end on September 26, 2023.

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