President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the first time, replied to a claim by former President John Dramani Mahama, that there were instances of cheating during the West Africa Senior Secondary School Examinations (WASSCE).
The former president’s comments, made months back during his Building Ghana Tour attracted earlier responses from the education minister and other pro-government voices.
“In many places, they let the children cheat. You go to places and the teachers are conniving with the students to cheat. The effect will be seen later,” Mahama said in late December 2023.
President Akufo-Addo’s response came over the weekend at the 187th speech and prize-giving day of Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast.
In a video footage available to GhanaWeb, the president pointedly mentioned the former president in his stern critique before asking the students gathered whether they agreed with the assertion of Mahama.
Akufo-Addo is heard saying: “Contrary to the normal experience, the large success and improved quality have gone hand in hand. Long may this continue. It is a pity though that the sad nature of aspects of contemporary Ghanaian politics drove some otherwise allegedly responsible people including your former president and current NDC presidential candidate to question the integrity of the results, happily without any foundation and to attribute these results to cheating.
He then asked: “Students of Wesley Girls’ High School, do you cheat in examinations?” to which they shouted “no”.
The president concluded per the video thus: “This loud noise will send a strong message to those who expressed these unfortunate, misguided sentiments. The WASSCE results of the students I proudly call the Akufo-Addo graduates have shown that the quality of education has not deteriorated but on the contrary, it has improved significantly.
“The results of the Akufo-Addo graduates in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 are the only years in the past decade that show that more than 50% of the candidates obtained A1 to C6 in all core subjects.”
“It is a pity, though, that the sad nature of aspects of contemporary Ghanaian politics drove some otherwise allegedly responsible people, including a former President and perennial presidential candidate, to question the integrity of the results, happily without any foundation,… pic.twitter.com/noFv3v1YI4
— Dennis Edward Aboagye (@DennisMiracles) February 12, 2024
WAEC mute over allegations despite publicly acknowledged infractions during last WASSCE
In a video on the official YouTube page of the examination organizing body, the West Africa Exams Council (WAEC), updating the public on the most recent edition organized back in September 2023; John K. Kapi, Head of Public Affairs, WAEC Ghana, admitted to schools being complicit in aiding students to cheat.
The update, at the WAEC Conference Room, was generally on the “Conduct of the 2023 WASSCE for School Candidates 2023.”
“Some of the schools have devised grand schemes for cheating at their examination centers,” he said adding that schools charged students between 500 – 1000 cedis to help them get assistance during examinations.
He added that WAEC monitoring teams faced hostilities from schools and that people have been arrested for attempting to bribe WAEC monitors.
He also spoke about the incidence of foreign materials on candidates entering the halls, snapshots of questions on social media, usually by invigilators who take photos and share them on social media channels, as well as other infractions.
Kapi also noted the smuggling of mobile phones and electronic gadgets into halls, impersonation, and insertion of scripts into answer booklets as other cases of infractions.
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