Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cheating at WASSCE — Alavanyo students face music

For allegedly cheating in the ongoing West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), candidates of the Alavanyo Senior High School (SHS) in the Volta Region have been made to face the music.

For their punishment, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has relocated all the candidates to the Nkonya Senior High School to write the rest of their papers there.

The Head of Examination at WAEC, Mr Nyamekye Aidoo, in an interview with the Junior Graphic, said the council acted upon a tip-off by an anonymous caller that candidates of the Alavanyo SHS were seen with photocopies of the Mathematics paper long before the paper was written.

According to him, the caller explained that the students were usually seen with some of the question papers but they handled them so well that when they saw external supervisors, they hid everything.

“Upon the tip-off, we dispatched some of our men to go to the school to ascertain the situation. Afterwards, the council decided that since there are more papers to be written, the school’s centre should be withdrawn immediately to prevent future occurrences,” he stated.

Mr Aidoo said the conduct of the candidates was quite upsetting, as students had been warned before the commencement of the examination to follow the dos and don’ts regarding the conduct of the council’s examinations.

“What students do not know is that when they involve in collusion and are not even caught in the course of the examination, examiners can still detect all those who indulged in the malpractice during the marking of the scripts,” he added.

He warned that the council had started publishing the names of candidates who got involved in examination malpractice such as leaks, mass cheating, collusion, impersonation, bringing in foreign materials and irregular activities inside or outside the examination hall.

Mr Aidoo explained that some of the penalties for such offences were the entire cancellation of results, the barring of candidates from taking examinations conducted by the council for not less than two years and prosecution.

In all, 157,997 candidates from 577 schools are writing this year’s WASSCE.

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