Students Resort To Mobile Phone Use
Private candidates in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) have resorted to the use of mobile phones to cheat during examinations.
Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, Senior Public Relations Officer of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), who disclosed this to the Junior Graphic, said such candidates normally communicated with their colleagues by texting, while others use the phones to get help from friends who were not in the exam hall.
She said this malpractice was also detected in the Basic Education and Certificate Examinations (BECE) this year, as four candidates had their subject results cancelled because they were caught with mobile phones in the examination halls.
She expressed concern over the trend, recalling how a staff of WAEC, Mr Asare Minako, lost his life because he insisted that candidates could not enter exam halls with their mobile phones during the 2006 private Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE).
“WAEC views this as a serious examination malpractice and will not compromise on it.
Any candidate caught in the exam hall with a mobile phone will have that particular paper cancelled,” she stressed.
Another examination malpractice which was also not known in school-based examinations which was uncovered last year during the BECE, according to her, was impersonation.
She said last year, 10 candidates were caught writing the exam for others and, therefore, had their results cancelled because it was criminal to impersonate.
This year, one candidate was caught writing on an answer sheet bearing the name of a different person, she added.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe advised students to take their studies seriously throughout the year and not wait until the last minute to look for help to enable them to pass their examination.
On the general performance of BECE candidates this year, Mrs Teye-Cudjoe said out of the 338,289 who wrote the exams, 570 had their subject results cancelled, while 28 had their entire results cancelled.
She said the affected candidates were involved in various examination irregularities such as bringing into the examination halls foreign materials, seeking help from non candidates, collusion, impersonation and tearing parts of their question papers and answer booklets.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe denied reports that 50 per cent of the BECE candidates failed and said the principle behind the grading of the BECE did not allow any candidate to fail.
She said since last year, the Council had stopped providing statistics on the performance of candidates, explaining that a candidate could score 10 Ones, while another would attain Six Ones “but because we now use the actual score in each subject, it is possible that the one with the Six Ones could gain admission while the other with 10 ones would not.”
Story by Severious Kale Dery