The Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) 2021 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) Ghana Monitoring Report says out of 20 papers monitored, 11 (55 percent) leaked “successfully,” whilst nine (45 percent) were recorded as fake circulations.
The report mentioned the leaked papers as: Foods and Nutrition Three (Practical), Elective Mathematics Two, English Language Two, Physics Two (which was consequently rescheduled), Biology Three (Practical-Alternative A), Core Mathematics One, Core Mathematics Two, Economics Two, Chemistry 1, Integrated Science One and Integrated Science Two.
It said the papers leaked before or after midnight, at the dawn of the scheduled day for the examination, or a few hours before the papers were due to be taken.
Reverend Dr Fredrick Deegbe, a Former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, formally launched the report, dubbed: “Eduwatch 2021 WASSCE Ghana Motoring Report,” in Accra.
Mr Kofi Asare, the Executive Director, Africa Education Watch, who presented the findings of the report, said the report covered the monitoring of 20 papers in 50 purposively sampled examination centres during WASSCE 2021, adding that the supposed questions from the papers were leaked unto various rogue social media pages on telegram.
He said the online leakage manifested at the school level, as some students in all schools monitored had foreknowledge of the 11 papers, which were sold on social media platforms hours ahead of the examination.
He said in addition, English Language and Social Studies written questions from the National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations (NABTEX) examination conducted by the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) for Technical Institutes at the pre-tertiary level also leaked on the telegram platforms.
The report said the high-stakes nature of the pre-tertiary external assessment system, where one could be deemed “a failure” based on a 90-minute test after 14 years of schooling as a key driver of the demand for questions and examination malpractices, as candidates must pass at all cost.
It said also, the high cost of remedial schooling, which was only available in the private sector for only parents who could afford it, was partly accountable for the commitment of candidates, mostly backed by the parents to purchase phones and questions, pay for compromised invigilation, and pass at the first attempt.
It again identified the increased competition for pride among schools through the WASSCE Ranking (League Table) and Key Performance Indicators for school heads as a potential motivation for institutionalised cheating during WASSCE, while acknowledging the universalised use of mobile phones in schools and access to social media by students, especially telegram and WhatsApp as conduits for accessing the questions.
The report said in addition to the demand factors, and its facilitators, the major supply drivers remained the existence of consistent security gaps in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) questions supply chain, which had culminated in a multi-million-cedi subsidiary industry – the “apo” market, courtesy telegram platform that could host over 200,000 subscribers for marketing.
The report said examination fraud, if unaddressed, would lead to the devaluation of WAEC’s certificates in the local and international tertiary space and the world of work, and made recommendations towards the digitisation of the question transmission process by removing the human elements involved in the section, printing, sorting, packaging, transportation, and storage of questions at deports, ahead of examinations.
It also recommended the mounting of CCTV surveillance systems in and around examination centres and reviewing the over emphasis on summative assessment or test based final examination by increasing the threshold for internal assessment from the current 30 percent.
Mr Charlse Aheto-Tsegah, a former Director-General, Ghana Education Service, said to address the issue of examinations malpractices, there was the need to change the penalty for examination malpractices from misdemeanour to crime to make the punishment more punitive.
New Law School campus progressing steadily – 70 Per cent of foundation done
The construction of the new campus for the Ghana School of Law (GSL), which has the capacity to admit 2,000 students, is progressing well, contractors of the project have assured.
The contractor, Joberg Ghana Limited, is currently 70 per cent done with work on the foundation or the substructure of the project.
This came to light when the Director of the GSL, Mr. Kwasi Prempeh-Eck, and his team last Tuesday paid a visit to the project site, opposite PRESEC, Legon, on the road to the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
Dubbed the GSL Law Village, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the commencement of the first phase of the project valued at $4 million on May 23, this year and it is expected to be completed in May, 2023.
With the brouhaha over admission of students to the GSL, the GSL Law Village is expected to expand access to legal education and it is seen as one of the solutions to the perennial problem of the inability of the GSL to admit thousands of LLB holders desirous of pursuing professional legal education.
Mr. Prempeh-Eck told the media that the GSL was not deaf to the concerns raised about access to legal education.
He said the Law Village project and the opening of satellite campuses were all part of efforts by the GSL to increase access to professional legal education in a manner that would not compromise quality.
“We have Accra main campus, another campus at Kumasi and GIMPA and now we have opened a new campus at UPSA to help us accommodate the numbers.
If a student passes the entrance exams, he will be admitted to the law school, at the same time we are also making plans to increase access,” he said.
With regard to the 499 students who were refused admission to the GSL on the basis that they failed to obtain pass marks in both the objective and written part of the entrance exam, Mr. Prempeh-Eck said the matter was currently before the courts, and therefore he could only comment after a determination by the courts.
Professional law course
When asked if the GSL could one day consider allowing the faculties of law in the country run the professional law course, Mr Prempeh-Eck said it was currently being discussed.
“That is a plan that is being discussed between the General Legal Council and the Deans of the Law Faculties. If you are trying to change a system that has been in existence since 1960, it cannot be done overnight.
This discussion has gone on for quite a while and it is left with implementation. Many questions linger on. How many of the faculties are ready? Can we absorb all students etc. We cannot just change the system overnight because we are dealing with people, resources and the general direction of legal education,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Joberg Ghana Limited, Mr. Joseph Magnus Marteye, said the project was on course and was expected to be completed within the stipulated time frame.
“Currently, the substructure is what is ongoing, we are 70 per cent completed and as you know construction relies on the substructure. When that is completed, the remaining job will not be much of a problem,” he said.
He, however, called on the government to intervene and provide a guarantee to enable his outfit to source loans to execute the project without any hindrance.
According to him, under the current arrangement, the project was purely funded by the GSL through its internally generated funds (IGF), but Joberg is supposed to pre- finance and be reimbursed by the GSL twice a year (every six months).
“We have to pre-finance but that has to be done through borrowing from the banks. The government is supposed to give us a guarantee to help us raise funds, but we have not yet received it, so we are using our IGF for the project as we wait for government to give us that guarantee. We are also waiting for the GSL to start taking school fees so that we will be paid,” he said.
He explained that a guarantee from the government would quicken the pace of the project as it would enable his outfit to source for funding within the shortest possible time.
“However, this does not stop us from doing what we must do. We have a timeline of 24 months and we will still meet the timeline so long as the Ghana School of Law pays us every six months,” he added.
Asantehene inaugurates new Board of Otumfuo Education Fund
The newly constituted Board of Trustees of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation (OOTIIF) was outdoored during last weekend’s Akwasidae celebration at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
Membership of the Board includes its Chairman, Nana Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei Woahene II, internationally acclaimed Orthopaedic Surgeon and the Otumfuo’s Hiahen and Mrs Margaret Boateng Sekyere, Mr Andrew Asamoah, Dr Kwaku Mensa-Bonsu, Dr Kwame Bawuah-Edusei, Rev. Akua Ofori-Boateng, Sir Samuel Esson Jonah, Nana Akuoku Boateng and Mrs Mariam Agyeman Gyasi Jawhary.
The Foundation serves as the Asantehene’s umbrella development organisation to consolidate, structure and implement all the King’s social impact initiatives in the specific thematic areas of Education, Health, Culture and Heritage, Water and Sanitation and some special projects.
The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life of Asanteman and Ghanaians by enhancing access to good quality education, health and sustainable infrastructure while promoting programs in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), tourism and socio-economic empowerment.
The Foundation is a consolidation of the various initiatives of Otmfuo Osei Tutu II, including the Otumfuo Education Fund, the Serwaa Ampem Foundation for Children and the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Charity Foundation.
The newly constituted Foundation is still under the patronage of His Royal Majesty and Her Royal Highness.
A spokesperson of the Foundation told the Daily Graphic that one major focus of the Asantehene, from the time of his ascension to the Golden Stool, has been the social development of Asanteman and Ghana.
He said when Otumfuo Osei Tutu II ascended the Golden Stool in 2009, he immediately established the Otumfuo Education Fund to provide thousands of scholarships for young people all over Ghana.
“Over the years, His Royal Majesty established other social causes for various projects and earlier this year, he consolidated all these various initiatives into the single and only mandated Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation,” she stated.
GLS reviewing request for professional legal training – Director of Legal Education
The Ghana School of Law has stated that it is reviewing requests for accreditation to undertake professional training submitted by law faculties of some universities.
Addressing journalists during a tour of the school on Tuesday November 2, the Director of Legal Education, Kwasi Prempeh-Eck noted that the General Legal Council (GLC) and the various faculties have commenced discussion on the matter.
“These are suggestions which have been discussed and are still being discussed as to the law faculties now running the professional examination and the exit examinarion to be run by the independent examination committee.
As a matter of fact, it is a discussion between the General Legal Council and the faculties. Initially, all the faculties will not be in a position to handle that aspect of the professional course, but we are hoping that maybe some will start. Maybe five of them will start and others will be added later on,” Mr. Prempeh-Eck said.
According to him, the future consequences of the request, demands thorough consideration.
“It can’t be done overnight. We have to think about the future. The Legal Profession Act was passed in 1960 and if we are going to revise it, we have to revise it for the next 50 or 60 years,” he added.
He therefore cautioned against any amendment of the Legal Professions Act, 1960, Act 32.
His caution comes at the back of the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Legal Professions Act, 1960, Act 32 by Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, South Dayi MP and Francis-Xavier Sosu, Madina MP.
The duo, through the Private Member’s Bill, is trying to realign “the functions of the GLC and to provide for reforms in legal education such that accredited faculties of law with the requisite facilities would be licensed to run professional law courses, provide for discipline of lawyers and related matters to give effect to Article 37(1) of the 1992 constitution.”
They are also seeking to have the Chief Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Court removed from the Board of the GLC.
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