The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) is set to address the alleged misconduct of candidates involved in the 2023 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). An investigation is underway for more than 22,000 candidates suspected of engaging in mass cheating.
Concerning this, the subject results of 312 candidates and three private candidates have been invalidated due to the use of foreign materials, such as prepared notes, textbooks, and printed materials during the examination or collaboration with other candidates. Additionally, the complete results of 41 school candidates and one private candidate have been nullified for possessing mobile phones in the exam hall. The results of several candidates are also being withheld.
John Kapi, the Director of Public Affairs at WAEC, emphasized that serious infractions could lead to the suspension of candidates for several years. However, for minor offenses, candidates might be allowed to retake the examination the following year after a hearing.
Kapi suggested that the high incidence of malpractice may be linked to the limited contact time teachers have with students, leading teachers to feel they haven’t adequately prepared their students, prompting some to resort to assisting in the examination hall.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the recurring trend of cheating, Dr. Peter Anti, the Executive Director of the Institute of Education Studies, welcomed WAEC’s efforts to address the issue. Similarly, Kofi Asare, the Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch, acknowledged the decline in the number of students facing complete result cancellations, expressing anticipation for a definitive outcome once the scrutiny of the large number of students under investigation is concluded.