The West African Examinations Council has held a Stakeholders’ Forum as part of the commemoration of its 70th Anniversary. The theme for the Forum was “70 Years of Reliable Educational Assessment – the Journey, Challenges and the Way Forward”. The forum which was aimed at giving the general public an insight into the operations of the Council brought together a number of stakeholders from the Ghana Education Service, Heads of institutions from private and public senior high schools and the media among others.
Panellists at the forum were: Dr. K. B. Tandoh, Deputy Director-General, GES; Mr. Nii Christian Johnson, Former Head, Test Development Division, WAEC; Alhaj Yakub Abubakar, National President, Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools and Mr. George Ohene-Mantey, Head, Test Administration Division, WAEC. The moderator was Mr. Umaru Sanda Amadu, a broadcast journalist with Citi FM/TV conglomerate.
Speaking at the Forum, the Head of National Office, Mrs. Wendy Addy-Lamptey noted that, although the Council had over the past 70 years gone through different phases all in a bid to effectively carry out its mandate, the experiences had served as learning curves to fine-tune the processes of the Council. She acknowledged all former staff as well as past and current governments for their support to the Council over the years.
The issue of examination malpractice came out strongly at the forum as panelists took turns to share their views on strategies to eliminate the canker.
Addressing the issue, Mr. Johnson, noted that examination malpractices destroy the credibility of examinations. He appealed to all stakeholders to put on their moral robes and reject all kinds of malpractice that affect the credibility of examinations in the country.
On his part, Dr. K. B. Tandoh, emphasized the need for all stakeholders to move away from the blame game and join hands with WAEC to fight the canker of malpractice.
On his part, Mr. G. K. Ohene-Mantey also stated that the Council had embarked on robust mechanisms to safeguard the credibility of examinations.
Touching on the issue, the CHASS President, Alhaj Abubakar called on tertiary institutions to take a second look at their admission criteria which set out grades for admissions, as the current criteria only compelled students to pass at all cost to enable them to get the required grades for admission.
In his closing remarks, the Director-General, GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa commended WAEC for organising the forum and urged the Council to continue with its engagement with stakeholders. He further cautioned candidates to use only test books certified by NACCA for their studies in order not to deviate from the curriculum.
Some of the suggestions proposed at the forum include the serialisation of examination questions, a relook at the admission criteria by tertiary institutions and the introduction of forensic auditing in the Council’s chain of examinations.
Participants who graced the forum also had the opportunity to admire artworks on display by students from some selected schools.