I want to ask whether the ‘devil’ has finally been laid to rest or has the ‘devil catchers’ improved their strategies this time. The Basic Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E) has ended and fortunately or unfortunately, there hasn’t been any media report about exams leakage in the country. Or could it be that the media missed out on it?
For years now, Apor a local parlance for leaked examination questions has become a popular word on the lips of many Ghanaians especially students preparing for any national examination.
Over the years, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the Ghana Education Service (GES), have been trying to eradicate this act but to no avail even with all the measures put in place.
Who is to be blamed?
Here in Ghana and in Africa as whole, recognized examinations like the B.E.C.E and the WASSCE are organized by WAEC and so would they be the best people to be blamed for the leakages? Since, obviously their workers are the only people who have access to the “strong room”.
But come to think of it, why would students who have been through 3 years of learning want to depend on apor? Is it because of our perception that Students with good grades are intelligent and do get admission into the best schools, which has resulted in students going length and breadth to acquire ‘apor’?
Someone should help me out, are examinations the true test of a student’s knowledge or ability? Is examination the best way to assess a student? What happens to the other form of assessments done while in School like the classwork, homework, projects amongst others?
Well we leave these for another day.
Leaking of examination questions in our country Ghana has become a norm and everyone can attest to it every year. In 2015, WAEC had to cancel five papers which were leaked. Those papers were English Language 2, Social Studies 2, Integrated Science 2, Religious and Moral Education 2 and Mathematics 2. New dates were scheduled for rewriting.
2016 was no different as 3 of the papers were cancelled. They were Integrated Science, Oral English, and Social Studies papers.
WAEC assured Ghanaians over the years that, they would see to getting rid of issues of apor and bringing perpetrators of these examination crimes to book.
Item Differentiator Software
In 2015, WAEC introduced new software to detect candidates who cheat in exams called the Item Differentiator Software, which is used mainly for the objective test. So the question to ask is “What happens to the theory papers?
In 2016, former Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, indicated that the government will hold WAEC accountable for any form of exam malpractices in that year’s B.E.C.E. Despite this caution, apor in that year was exceptional.
Now, if WAEC introduced a software in 2015 to curb leakages of questions and yet in 2016, questions still leaked massively, then the question we need to ask is, what could the problem be?
Did the perpetrators find a way to break the code?
The advent of Social Media
Many believe that as far as social media exist, the issue of ‘apor’ will never cease and though this problem has been there for long, the advent of the likes of facebook, whatsapp, IMO and snapchat will surely make it difficult to eradicate apor. These platforms being the new and trending means of communication makes it much easy for the circulation of the questions.
People virtually make business out of it, selling questions for huge sums of money. Bad nuts among parents of students and some schools are willing to buy, just for their wards to get good grades and schools ranked as best and yet in the end, it’s the innocent students that suffer, both psychologically and physically: the stress involved in psyching yourself up for a rewrite.
So what about that student in Atsiaklobor village in the Volta Region and the other one in Piase village in the Ashanti region who can’t afford apor and has to depend on unavailable test books?
WAEC must act fast. They must start by getting rid of all the bad officials amongst them, who leak the questions out of the “strong room”.
Or have they acted already? As 2017 B.E.C.E has ended and no sign of apor. I stand to be corrected though.
Are we to applaud ourselves on a good work done? Or it is just a camouflage.
If this is done, then we can think of a clear and transparent examination hence forth, if not, I rest my case.
Author: Akosua Wiafe | Connect FM