Produce so-called contract between WAEC and Kingdom Books – Apaak to Education Minister

Member of Parliament for Builsa South and Deputy Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Education Dr Clement Apaak has challenged the Ministry of Education to provide copies of the legal document that shows the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has granted the sole right to Kingdom Books and Stationery to reproduce past examination questions and examiner’s report in the country.

He said according to his background checks, the Deputy Minister of Education, John Ntim Fordjour, lied when he emphatically stated that the reason why the Ministry is procuring past examination questions from Kingdom Books and Stationery but not any other company for the second time in a row is that they “own the sole right to reproduce past questions in the country”.

Dr Apaak said as a member of the Education Committee of Parliament, he knows that government provides annual budgetary support for WAEC, hence the government could have used that leverage to acquire the rights to reproduce the past questions in a more competitive manner rather than buying them at the exorbitant price that Kingdom Books is selling to the country.

He pointed out that the Minister of Education himself when he appeared in Parliament to speak on the issue, stated that they are procuring the past questions from Kingdom Books and Stationery because ‘‘they know Kingdom Books is the only entity that can do the job” in the country.

To the Builsa South lawmaker, these are two diametrically opposed statements from the Minister of Education and his deputy.

This he believes cannot just be swept under the carpet but must come out to prove which is the truth.

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Which of what the two of them are saying to Ghanaians about the past questions acquisition from Kingdom Books is true, Dr Apaak demanded on New Day on TV3 in an interview with Berla Mundi on Monday, July 19.

He was speaking on the back of the procurement of past examination questions and examiner’s report on the West African Senior Schools Certificate Examination (WASSCE) by the government for candidates of this year’s exams.

“This issue has a lot more facets than what people seem to believe. One is the issue of the contract that I was talking about. I saw it, it was online as part of the Minister’s effort to rebut what I was talking about and the attempt to suggest that I am making a claim that is untrue, which is what I reject.

“That is why I keep making references to the fact that if there is anyone to blame for any so-called mistake, I don’t believe it until a document tabled before Parliament to suggest otherwise, then the minister must be held accountable,” he pointed out.

He added: “Now this contract that I’m telling you about I have not seen a signature of a representative of the Ministry of Education or Kingdom Books. I have not seen a stamp of the two institutions so the authenticity of the document itself is subject to doubt. And then you see, when I asked the Minister the primary question, I asked the question why the Ministry decided to sole source from Kingdom Books, the Minister’s response to me was that as far as he knew it was Kingdom Books that could do the job.

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“But now the Deputy Minister is telling us that the reason why this sole sourcing took place is because WAEC has given Kingdom Books the exclusive right to reproduce the past questions.

“But what documentation has been made available, and I requested that, to show that indeed Kingdom Books has an undertaking or agreement with WAEC, granting Kingdom Books the full right to reproduce. I have not seen a document indicating that it is only Kingdom Books that has the sole right from WAEC. I say so because government of Ghana, through the Ministry, offers WAEC annual budgetary support. As a member of the Education Committee, every year WAEC comes, which means we have some leverage over WAEC. We could have gone to WAEC even if it shows that Kingdom Books had the sole right as they are claiming, we could have used our influence as a nation that supports WAEC’s budget to also procure the rights and then get a competitive process going to reduce the price, that was not done.”.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah||Ghana