Education Policy Research and Advocacy Organization, Africa Education Watch has revealed the dubious ways West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and/or Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) papers are leaked days or hours before students sit for the exam.
Speaking at the launch of an independent report on the conduct of WASSCE 2020, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare noted that the exam papers pass through the Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Police before it gets to the schools on the D-day.
He averred that the afore-mentioned bodies are part of the leakage problem as most papers are taken at dawn, hence, the need for the transportation of the exam papers to be digitalized.
He said, “The fact that all questions leaked unto the social media platforms at the dawn before the exam (the very time questions are transported from the WAEC depots) lends some credence to WAEC’s position that questions leaked when they were in the custody of the GES/Ghana Police after they have left their custody (strongrooms). It is most likely that shots of questions were taken immediately after moving them from the strong rooms and transmitted through WhatsApp and telegram, which eventually found their way onto the various examination questions trading platforms.”
Kofi Asare listed a page on Telegram called Hot Stage as the widely patronised source of leaked questions.
Other pages on Facebook include WAEC security room and WAEC strongroom
He noted that the page has over 1,050,000 members awaiting to be fed with questions.
Mr Asare noted that the person in charge of the group, after signing onto the page directs members to a paid WhatsApp platform where the questions and answers are then released.
Also, 1 hour to the paper, they share the questions to the free page to whet the appetite of students to subscribe to the paid WhatsApp page for them to also make returns.
“Our investigations confirmed a telegram page called “HOT STAGE” to be one of the widely patronized sources of leaked examination papers during the 2020 WASSCE. The social media platform, which had 70,000 subscribers at the time of the 2020 WASSCE examinations (now over 160,000 subscribers), released questions and answers at the dawn of the ensuing exams. The platform operators usually released the first batch of questions and answers to paid members much earlier, after which a free version was released in the morning, as late as 7 am, barely an hour to the commencement of examinations,” Mr Asare stated.
“There were other Facebook pages that also serialized questions. They included “WAEC Secret Room for All Exams”, “Free Exam Answers – WAEC” and “WAEC Strong Room”. These pages were used for adverts, after which one was directed to a WhatsApp platform where members were required to pay for questions,” the report added.
He noted that the methodology used in scouting for the information was key informant interviews.
The informants included headmasters, teachers, and students of selected Senior High Schools (SHSs), invigilators, examiners, markers, journalists, former management and board members of WAEC.
A total of 26 stakeholders in the examination value chain were engaged.
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