The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has taken over investigations into the leak of five subject papers in the ongoing Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
In line with that, the head of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Ghana, Rev. Samuel Ollennu was questioned yesterday by the BNI on the orders of the National Security Council Secretariat.
Security sources told the Daily Graphic that WAEC could not be trusted to investigate itself as the magnititude of the leak could not have occurred without the connivance of some officials of the examination body.
The sources said the government was determined to take drastic action to punish anybody who was culpable to forestall a recurrence.
Yesterday WAEC announced the cancellation of five subject papers in the ongoing BECE.
They are Papers 2 of English Language; Religious and Moral Education; Integrated Science; Mathematics, and Social Studies.
This followed the discovery by the WAEC that those papers had leaked and, thereby, the integrity of the papers had been compromised.
According to a statement signed and issued in Accra yesterday by the Deputy Director of Public Affairs of WAEC, Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, the leaked papers had been rescheduled to be re-taken on June 29 and 30, 2015.
The statement said in addition to other sources where the papers had been leaked, they had also gone viral on social media, especially on Whatsapp Messenger.
“In pursuance of its quest to demonstrate its abhorrence of examination malpractice of any sort, safeguard the sanctity of its examinations and integrity of certificate issued, the council has cancelled the listed papers.
“As such, Social Studies 1 and 2 examinations slated for today, June 18, 2015 will not be administered.”
However, the remaining papers, French and Information Communication Technology (ICT) would be written as scheduled for today, June 18 and tomorrow, June 19 respectively.
The council, the statement said, regretted any inconveniences caused stakeholders and, in particular, candidates who did not involve themselves in the malpractice.
It further called on stakeholders to appreciate that the re-administration of the examination was in the interest of the candidates and to restore public confidence and credibility in the outcome of the examination.
“Candidates and stakeholders are hereby assured that all the necessary measures are being put in place to forestall the recurrence of the malpractice,” it said.
Meanwhile, the statement said, investigations were in progress to unearth the full facts of the malpractice.
“The council is determined to follow the case to its logical conclusion and will not shield any person including its own staff who will be found culpable,” the statement added.
This year’s BECE started on Monday, June 15, 2015 with English Language and Religious and Moral Education.
A total of 438,030 candidates, made up of 229,724 males and 208,306 females, are writing the examination.
The number of candidates represents an increase of 15,084 over last year’s figure of 422,946 final-year junior high school (JHS) students who registered for the examination.
About 13,434 basic schools, both public and private, are taking part in the examination being written at 1,546 centres across the country.
The examination is being invigilated by 1,546 supervisors and 1,466 assistant supervisors.
During a visit to some examination centres, the Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, advised the candidates and students to ensure the sanctity of the examination by avoiding malpractices.
Parents on WAEC
Some parents have blamed WAEC and some of its staff for the leak of the examination questions, adding that candidates should not suffer for the inability of the council to police its papers.
One parent, Madam Yaa Boahemaa, told the Daily Graphic that her son had virtually become frail because of the examination.
“This is going to have a psychological effect on the children. My son has for the past one month cut short his sleep because of the examination, and I can’t imagine how he is going to write five papers in two days,” she said.
Another parent, Mr Stephen Sah, said the porous security system of WAEC was responsible for the leak, and asked “if the papers leaked who do you blame?”
He said asking the children to rewrite the papers was an unnecessary burden on them, warning that if they did not take care someone would take them on for failing to put their house in order.
Madam Ama Debrah believed that the parents of candidates should come together to take WAEC on, possibly in court.
“These kids have sacrificed themselves and spent sleepless nights to go through the examination, and now look at what has happened. For me I blame some of us parents, teachers and schools that want the children to pass the examination through foul means,” Madam Debrah added.