The yet to be released examinations results for private candidates conducted by The West African Examination Council (WAEC) could suffer another credibility crisis over possible grade manipulation.
Information gathered by Weekend Finder indicates that some individuals claiming to be workers of the Council’s IT department and have access to the candidate’s grades have started sending messages to parents of candidates promising to give their wards better grades at a fee.
A parent who has received one of such messages and is livid about the situation told Weekend Finder that somewhere last week, while he was retiring to bed, he had a What’s App message from someone who introduced himself as workers with the Exams body and requested that if he was interested, he could better the grades of his [parent’s] daughter if it happens that she has some problems with her results.
The parent who pleaded anonymity for fear that her daughter might be victimised if the story broke out, narrated that ordinarily, he would have disregarded the message but when the ‘official’ subsequently forwarded a copy of his daughter’s forms with details as used in registering for the exams, he became alarmed and sustained interest to enable him report to the police for an arrest.
The conversation between the parent and the supposed WAEC official cited by Weekend Finder indicates that the Official claimed he could alter the grades with a grade ‘A’ going for GHC 500.00.
To prove his ability to effect the changes when the results are eventually released, he sent copies of some results of other candidates whose results he has worked on awaiting the release of the official results when he would alter them and feed into the system.
The ‘official’ further stated that the results of the examination would be released in three weeks and that if the parent was interested, he could add him to the list of persons whose results he would be “working on”.
“What is even worrying is how he got my number. In fact he told me I was the guarantor for my daughter and went further to send me my daughter’s details”, he narrated.
He said that although he was aware that some fraudsters sometimes take advantage of candidates especially on the eve of the official release of the results by WAEC, he did not rule out the possibility of persons at the council who are indeed altering grades of candidates for a fee.
“Now I fear that my daughter might be victimised when they get to know that I have reported this issue but my brother, we must all help to sanitise the system,” he asserted
WAEC denies involvement
When Weekend Finder contacted The West African Examination Council on the matter, Ellen, an official at the public Affairs department dismissed the claims that anyone at the Council could alter grades of candidates.
She claimed that because students register at centres outside the Council, fraudsters are able to get hold on their details which they subsequently use to defraud candidates under the pretext of helping them acquire better grades.
WAEC receives hundreds of reports but no arrests
According to information gathered at the security department ofWAEC as at last year, the Council had received 239 reports on supposed fraudsters who manage to get candidates data and used them to defraud candidates.
Interestingly, none of the information had led to the arrest of anyone yet.
Council seem helpless
Weekend Finder volunteered information to the Council by providing contact details and other relevant information which could lead to a possible arrest of the supposed fraudster at the Council, but the only feedback this paper got from the Security department was that the phone numbers and name did not belong to anyone at the Council.
Asked how the Council deals with the hundreds of information they receive on the supposed fraudsters, an official at the security department said, they forward the details to the Bureau of National Investigations, but noted that none has led to the arrest of anyone yet.
Does WAEC lack commitment to end the menace?
A school of thought, however, has it that if the Council were indeed committed to arresting the supposed fraudsters, it could conveniently seek a court order to enable the telecom companies helps give information on the phone numbers that the supposed fraudsters use in perpetrating their crimes.
Over the years, the credibility of examination conducted by the West Africa Examination Council has continually been brought into disrepute over incessant leakage of examination questions.
Often, examination questions are found circulating on social media sometimes days before the papers are written.
WAEC exam leak room
A Facebook account has named “WAEC EXAM LEAK ROOM” has subsequently been created by individuals who claim to help students to pass their exams with distinction by selling leaked exam papers online.
On this social media site, they provide mobile phone numbers where interested candidates are granted access to leaked exam papers at a fee.
Examination crisis in Ghana
It is fast becoming the norm in Ghana that students cannot trust themselves to genuinely pass exams without buying the grades or cheating in the exams.
This has however made many susceptible to fraudsters who make fortunes out of the situation, but there is a general perception that officials at the exam body are actively involved in manipulating exams results and leaking exam papers to individuals willing to pay for them.