The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) is introducing measures to tighten security ahead of the June 2015 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), which begins on June 15.
The measures include reducing the time the question papers are made available to officials at the examination centres from two hours to 45 minutes before the candidates begin the paper.
Additionally, the keys to the security bag in which the examination papers are kept will no longer be handled by Ghana Education Service (GES) officials and the police officers transporting the examination papers from the various examination depots to the centres.
The Head of the National Office (HNO) of WAEC, Very Rev. Sam Nii Nmai Ollennu, who disclosed this in an interview, explained that starting with the June 2015 BECE, the keys to the security bags would be handled by only the WAEC officials at the depot and a duplicate given to the supervisors at the examination centres.
“What this means is that those transporting the question papers from the depots to the examination centres will not carry the keys to the examination centres. With this, they will not have access to the papers except they decide to cut the bag open and I don’t think they will go to that length,” he explained.
He said those measures had become necessary following an incident where a GES official, the driver and the police officer transporting the BECE papers last year opened the security bag in transit, took photographs of the questions and sent them by WhatsApp to the candidates.
Rev. Ollennu explained that when the exams papers were given out long before the writing of the paper, unscrupulous officials took advantage, opened the question papers before the examination and transmitted the questions via technology.
He warned the public to be wary of fraudsters who moved round basic schools dropping notices to the effect that a WAEC official was willing to make available question papers seven hours before the commencement of the examinations.
Very Rev. Ollennu showed the Daily Graphic a similar notice forwarded to him, which read: “Please a WAEC official is willing to give out the BECE questions to your students within seven hours to the start of paper. For further information, contact him on 0554397118 (WhatsApp only).
“This year, the questions are fresh questions. Meaning past questions will be very minimal. It is for this reason that he wants to help. Thank you. From James Acquaye, a nephew to him,” the message concluded.
While warning the students to avoid such fraudsters, who would only defraud them, he encouraged them that the examination was within their ability, adding, “A little effort will be enough to take them through the exams. We want to wish you well in the forthcoming examination.”
He said every year, during this time, such fraudsters were always around with all kinds of tricks to extort money with claims that they were able to change the bad results to very good grades.
Source: Daily Graphic