The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says it has put stringent security measures in place to prevent leakages of Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) papers this year.
It said officials of the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) monitored the production process – printing, sorting and packaging of the papers-and confident there would not be leakages this year.
Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, Head of Public Affairs, WAEC National Office, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that, the Council had also increased the number of depots storing confidential materials under strict surveillance.
She said the enhanced security would ensure that the papers did not leak before and during the examinations and cautioned the public to be wary of people who would be selling fake examination papers.
She said all COVID-19 safety protocols would be observed during the examination, which would start from Monday, November 15, and end on Friday, November 19.
She said all candidates would be given hand sanitisers and that,
“should a candidate fall sick and a medical report is available, a committee will look into the situation and take a decision.”
Meanwhile, Mr Kofi Asare, Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, said there were no enough assurances from WAEC that this year’s BECE would be leakage-free.
He said per historical antecedents in WAEC related examinations, he could only hope that the examining body would put its house in order to prevent the “scare of what took place in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).”
“…on the side of WAEC, we don’t have the assurance that there won’t be any leakages but we can only hope that WAEC puts its house in order and prevent a repetition of what happened during this year’s WASSCE.”
Mr Peter Korda, Head of Public Relations, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), said they expected the BECE results to be better this year despite long COVID-19 break.
He said teachers did their best to catch up with the curriculum after the 10-month break last year.
“COVID-19 pushed teachers to go the extra mile to adequately prepare students for the examinations through extra classes and online teaching and assignments,” he said, and advised the candidates to adhere to rules and instructions of the exams.
Data from the Ghana Education Service indicate that a total of 571, 894 pupils will be sitting for this year’s BECE at 2,158 centres throughout the country.
A total of 531,707 and 517,332 candidates sat for the examination in 2020 and 2019, respectively.