Examination malpractices are expected to be a thing of the past following moves by the Akufo-Addo led government to supply students with prescribed mathematical sets, scientific calculators among others beginning from this year’s WAEC exams.
Education, a key aspect of national development has served as the main vehicle through which knowledge, skills attitudes, values and character are acquired to build the human capital essential for socio-economic development.
But over the years, member countries of the West African Examinations Council, including Ghana have expressed worry over the rising wave of malpractices in public examinations and have constantly called on educational institutions to find lasting solutions to the menace.
As a result, Ghana’s Education Ministry in conjunction with WAEC held a series of stakeholder engagements aimed at resolving the malaise and among others agreed to only allow the use of customized WAEC mathematical sets, in addition to an outright ban of wristwatches in exam halls with effect from the 2020 examinations.
This is meant to ensure students don’t enter examination centres with foreign materials and unauthorized gadgets as pertains in Nigeria.
It is in light of this, that the Ministry of Education entered into an agreement with Messrs Bluegrass Group Limited for the supply of 853,009 units of Kapek Scientific Mathematical Instruments at the unit cost of 75 cedis to the Ghana WAEC to assist it to conduct examinations.
In a bid to ensure the successful execution of the project, Parliament on Monday, July 13, 2020, waived taxes and duties on the agreement totalling some $3 million.
Presenting the report of the Finance Committee on the request for the tax waiver, Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah noted that the supply of the maths sets while combatting examination malpractices, will also help improve the rating of the certificates issued by the examining body and boost confidence in the country’s educational systems.
Students were also assured that the instruments are not complicated hence all of them will be able to operate them without difficulty.
The Kapek Scientific Mathematical Instrument is a combination of a scientific calculator and mathematical set in transparent plastic and specifically customized for WAEC and is built as a non-programmable calculator with over 400 basic mathematic functions, formulas and symbols for fast and easy computation.
Contributing to the report, a former Deputy Education Minister and MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa raised red flags over the cost of the maths set and questioned whether there was a value-for-money audit report on the contract.
“What’s so special about the company that the Ministry wrote to the PPA to grant the sole-sourcing request?” he quizzed.