In DepthColumnsEducation: Leaking with foreknowledge, and awards


Posted on Friday, 15 April 2016 18:23

Education: Leaking with foreknowledge, and awards

By Nana Yaa Ofori-Atta

Ghana's President Mahama named AARE ATOLASE of the Offa Kingdom, Kwara State, NigeriaThe West African Examinations Council (WAEC), insists on titillation, essentially licking its exposed and hairy navel in public. The 2016 exam and in some instances, the answers for three of the four core exams: Oral English; Integrated Science; and Social Studies, were broadcast via a social media chat group.

Established in 1952, WAEC provides annual examinations for students in five English speaking countries – Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Gambia. The Very Reverend S N Ollenu, head of WAEC has dismissed the quantum of this snafu, as some students have foreknowledge of exams.

The pictures of him clad, at some point, in traditional wear with sprigs of leaves jutting out from either side of his head beat anything a Ghanaian traditional area could and probably should offer

A leak, per the reverend, who has been in office since 2012, is when the contents are available 24 hours before the exam. Foreknowledge covers unauthorised circulation hours before the exam. In 2013, WAEC cancelled the entire results of some 130 schools suspected of cheating on the Basic Education Certification Examinations.

The findings of the investigation into the leaking of the 2015 senior secondary school certification exams have still not been made public.

Onwards and forwards

Having ridden out annual scandals with WAEC exams, the Ollenu's anger understandable. His listed hobby is exploring computer software. No one at WAEC, certainly not its holy head, is exploring, however softly, the concept of blame, certainly not resignation. The offending papers in question will not be cancelled. One of the main objectives of WAEC is to award certificates equivalent to UK exam standards.

A number of British Universities already require Ghanaian holders of WAEC certificates to take additional entrance tests, such is the esteem in which they do not hold our local classifications and certification. There is a suggestion (fortunately it will gain no ground), that with the abundance of annual lessons learnt, what with the advent of technology (soft and hardware), some best practices could be applied to deliver the integrity of WAEC 's certification.

Education, remains even, perhaps especially for Ghana's self-acclaimed "social democrat" government, a quagmire. Every government, including this one, has trifled with the behemoth known as the Ministry of Education and some have failed spectacularly more than others and in more than one critical area.

Titles and degrees

Overall enrollment has gone up, so have the scandals, the strikes over unpaid salaries and the gaps in funding and quality. Nevertheless, it seems every other government official seeks, while in office, to further his or her education, so much so that the government was compelled to issue an order directing salaried public officials not to slope off the job in furtherance of their education.

That message is a tad difficult to compute, given that President Mahama Dramani is arguably the most lettered head of state in our history. His latest honorary doctorate awarded by the University of Aberdeen follows on the heels of many certifications and traditional titles. From Cuba (Friendship Medal) to Benin (National Order of the Great Cross), Mahama has received commendations for his leadership and technocratic flair.

It is his title, as the AARE ATOLASE of the Offa Kingdom, Kwara State, Nigeria that took the biscuit. Kara Deniz Seks Odessa Zevk ve keyif The pictures of him clad, at some point, in traditional wear with sprigs of leaves jutting out from either side of his head beat anything a Ghanaian traditional area could and probably should offer.

Not to be outdone, his wife, Lordina Mahama, a champion of gender and children's rights has also kept up with collecting awards, local, foreign, academic (Fordham University) and traditional. Fortunately, Mahama (recipient also of the Daniel Award from the General Council of the Assemblies of God), has decreed that his multiple honorary awards should not be appended to his name.

By inference, our First Lady remains Mrs Lordina Mahama and not as her husband recently introduced her, "Nana Dr Mrs Lordina Mahama".

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