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Students cited for exam malpractices must be allowed to defend themselves - Africa Education Watch to WAEC

By Mutala Yakubu
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Education think tank, Africa Education Watch has called on the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) to give a fair hearing to candidates who were cited for various examination malpractices in the 2020 WASSCE.

WAEC on November 13, 2020, in a statement, indicated that results of some 2,383 candidates have been cancelled as a result of alleged examination malpractices.

READ ALSO: Africa Education Watch sues WAEC for engaging examiners with ‘leaked identities’ to mark 2020 WASSCE

The Council annulled the results for 480 candidates for entering examination halls with mobile phones and withheld those of 380 others for engaging in various forms of examination malpractices.

Executive Director for Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare speaking to Citi news says WAEC should give a fair hearing to these candidates and allow them to respond to the allegations of malpractices levelled against them.

“The most important thing for us policy advocates is the necessity of WAEC to take such students through due process to defend themselves. We want to ensure that it does not become a one-sided issue.”

Let’s ensure that due process has been followed. There was a case where WAEC was dragged to court. It will be in breach of their right not to give them a fair hearing,” he noted.

Below is the WAEC statement

The 2020 WASSCE commenced on July 20, 2020, and ended on Saturday, September 5.

The examination was written by 313,897 candidates across the country.

It began with practical subjects like basketry, painting, and woodwork for Visual Arts candidates.

Despite measures by the WAEC to ensure a smooth process, the examination had its fair share of rumoured question leaks purported to have originated from the Council.

Some candidates rioted over the strict invigilation at their centres and, in the process, destroyed school property while using unsavoury language against state officials.

The students who engaged in the unruly behaviour were dismissed by the Ghana Education Service (GES) but President Akufo-Addo intervened and asked that they be given a second chance.

A total of 375,763 candidates from 976 schools sat for the examination representing “8.6% higher than the 2019 candidates of 346,098. The 2020 entry figure was made up of 187,581 (49.9%) males and 188,182 (50.1%) females.”