Education think tank, Africa Education Watch, has confirmed that the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) questions leaked to candidates.
The education think tank after its independent assessment of the examination stated in its report that the questions were leaked on the dawn of each paper and sent to various social media groups.
“At around 2:00am on the 17th of August 2020, copies of the Core Mathematics (2) paper were circulating on Social Media,” it reported, explaining that the questions were leaked around the time they were being transported from the WAEC depots ahead of the exams.
“In its statement of August 19th, 2020, WAEC indicated that the questions leaked outside their strong room/depot, suggesting the questions were then within the custody of the GES and Police who were responsible for handling the question papers from the depot to the Centre. Our investigations could not establish the exact stage within the examinations value chain where the leakage occurred.”
“Furthermore, the fact that all questions leaked unto the social media platforms at the dawn before the exam (the very time questions are transported from the WAEC depots) lends some credence to WAEC’s position that questions leaked when they were in the custody of the GES/Ghana Police, after they have left their custody (strong rooms). This corroborates a June 2014 police investigative report which cited Lance Corporal Prince Opoku for complicity in leaking examination papers when detailed to escort WAEC examination materials from Konongo depot to examination centres at Asiwa.
“It is most likely that shots of questions were taken immediately after moving them from the strong rooms and transmitted through WhatsApp and telegram, which eventually found their way onto the various examination questions trading platforms,” the report noted.
The think-tank also faulted some social media pages including Telegram groups for being another source of leaked questions.
“The Secondary Sources of Leaked Examination Papers Platforms for trading in Questions and Answers – Rogue Social Media Pages As earlier indicated, our investigations confirmed a telegram page called “HOT STAGE” to be one of the widely patronized sources of leaked examination papers during the 2020 WASSCE. The social media platform, which had 70,000 subscribers at the time of the 2020 WASSCE examinations (now over 160,000 subscribers), released questions and answers at the dawn of the ensuing exams. The platform operators usually released the first batch of questions and answers to paid members much earlier, after which a free version was released in the morning, as late as 7:00 am, barely an hour to the commencement of examinations. There were other Facebook pages that also serialized questions. They included “WAEC Secret Room for All Exams”, “Free Exam Answers – WAEC” and “WAEC Strong Room”. These pages were used for adverts, after which one was directed to a WhatsApp platform where members were required to pay for questions.”
Africa Education Watch also noted that students often paid for the leaked questions.
“In selected schools where we monitored, students were operating WhatsApp groups where the questions and answers, once ready, were shared. Some teachers we spoke to observed the jubilant mood of most students at dawn, anytime questions and answers arrived, and immediately after examinations, once questions proved genuine. Students, we learnt, contributed to purchase the questions. It is worth mentioning that, after our initial complaint to the Police about the operations of these rogue social media platforms where 2020 WASSCE questions were traded, it became even more obvious that these social media sites were not new to the security agencies and WAEC. Indeed, WAEC confirmed having reported the said platforms to the Police as far back as 2018 for similar activities. However, information gathered suggested the Police had technical challenges in apprehending the operators, as their IP addresses kept changing,” the report stated.
As part of several recommendations, the Africa Education Watch wants the government of Ghana to take steps to break the monopoly enjoyed by the West African Examination Council, WAEC, in assessing students and conducting examinations in Ghana by regulating the powers of the council.