Current ‘pass or fail’ student assessment system fueling WASSCE malpractices

Corruption Watch _The Cheating Squad

Managers of Ghana’s education sector have been advised to review how students are assessed to reflect the changing times and ensure fairness.

Speakers and participants in a Twitter Space conversation hosted by Corruption Watch Ghana unanimously identified the current system of assessment and grading of students as well as schools as one of the leading causes of “institutionalized cheating” in Ghana during the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

The Twitter Space conversation titled ‘Ghana: Cheating our way to the top’ was a follow-up to Corruption Watch’s investigative piece called, ‘The Cheating Squad,’ which exposed how school authorities worked together with some examination officers to help students cheat in the 2021 WASSCE. The documentary uncovered some grand schemes existing in some second cycle institutions, All for Christ Senior High/Technical School and Duadaso Number 1 Senior High/Technical School, both in the Bono Region, to cheat in the examinations.

The conversation featured speakers including Kofi Asare, Executive Director, Africa Education Watch, Maame Darkowa Awinador, International Trade Consultant, Blackbridge Consulting Group Ltd, and Frederick Asiamah, Corruption Watch’s Investigative Journalist, who gave their contributions to the growing phenomena of institutionalized examination malpractices and their implications on the younger generation.

Mr. Asare was of the view that student assessments have to be reviewed from the high-stake pass or fail test system to an appreciative enquiry system known as portfolio assessment in curriculum studies in which one’s learning outcomes are assessed through activity-based assessment. “Instead of asking someone tough examination questions, you can embark on a field trip with the students and have a discussion with them on the field to ascertain their views and appreciation of the issue on the field. That is how the advanced system or the Singaporean system is built,” he said.

On her part, Maame Awinador listed a breakdown of the educational system and foundational values as some of the main factors contributing to the rise of examination malpractices and recommended that getting it right should not be the priority when assessing students. “We lack a very effective educational system, and you cannot necessarily control the moral values of people, but you can create systems that can put that in check,” she said.

Frederick Asiamah, however, recommended naming and shaming, as well as punishments for perpetrators of such crimes. “The system has to be robust in fishing out people who are compromising their standards, including officials. Officials who connive with school authorities must be brought to book. I also wish WAEC will publish the names of schools, teachers and invigilators who have been blacklisted for all to see, so we can fish out those who deliberately decide to break the law,” he explained.


About Corruption Watch Ghana.

Corruption Watch Ghana is an initiative by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and a coalition of anti-corruption civil society organizations including, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Africa Center for International Law and Accountability (ACILA) and Multimedia Platforms Joy FM and Adom FM as our main media partners.


For more information, please contact:

Name: Sharon Willis Brown-Acquah

Designation: Digital Content Officer

Email: s.brown@cddgh.org

Phone Number: +233 54 457 7090


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