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GES Strengthens Invigilation For 2015 WASSCE   
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The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) took off nationwide yesterday with an innovation in the invigilation to ensure a malpractice-free examination.

As part of the innovation, invigilators will be changed from one centre to another. This means that no invigilator will have the opportunity to invigilate at one centre throughout the examination, as was the case in previous years.

The Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, made this known to journalists at the Armed Forces Senior/Technical School at the Burma Camp when he led a team from the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to visit some selected WASSCE centres in Accra.

The team visited Labone  Senior High School (SHS), Aquinas SHS, the Armed Forces Senior/Technical, the Presbyterian Boys’ SHS, Legon, the Achimota SHS and the Accra Girls’ SHS.

In all, 268,771 candidates from 868 public and private SHSs are writing the examination at 866 centres. Out of the number, 139,843 are males, while 128,928 are females.

The number represents an increase of 20,603 candidates over the 242,162 candidates who took the examination in 2014.

The deputy minister said the idea to move invigilators round was agreed with the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to make invigilation unpredictable.

“We have also improved on security right from when the examination papers are printed to where they are stored and transported to the centres. We have identified where there are possible loopholes where some people can take advantage of,” he said. 

Mr Ablakwa said, for instance, that 2014 was a challenging year, with examination malpractice in the country hitting a record high of three per cent.

He said the ministry was keeping an eye on examination malpractice, adding, “We want to get back to 0.7 per cent. Our target is zero per cent.”

School fees
On the payment of school fees by final-year students, he expressed surprise at the general laxity among some parents towards the payment of their children’s school fees, describing it as worrying.

The ministry has directed that no candidate should be prevented from writing the examination and some parents are taking undue advantage of the directive not to pay their children’s school fees.

For instance, at the Aquinas SHS, out of the 416 candidates, only 10 per cent had paid their school fees in full at the start of the examination.

“We want to appeal to parents to help us. The policy is good and the directive is to make sure that no student is prevented from writing the examination,” Mr Ablakwa said.

He, however, gave an assurance that measures were in place to ensure that all candidates paid their fees.

He said, for instance, that schools whose students owed fees would forward the names of those candidates to WAEC to block the results of those students until they paid their fees in full.

According to him, the visit indicated that the examination had taken off smoothly, with no negative report, and that all the centres visited had started the examination on time.

He said he was also happy with the turnout of invigilators, supervisors and candidates, noting that of the schools visited, it was only one student who was reported sick at the Aquinas SHS, while two were absent at the Presbyterian Boys’ SHS, Legon, with one reported to have died before the examination.

Words of encouragement
In a related development, the Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, also visited the Osu Presbyterian SHS and the Accra Girls’ SHS to encourage the candidates to desist from examination malpractice.

Source: Daily Graphic

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