18.03.2005 General News

Osafo Maafo goes wild

By Chronicle
Osafo Maafo goes wild
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... over reported Varsity exam malpractices The Minister of education and Sports, Mr. Yaw Osafo- Maafo, has said his ministry “Cannot condone any examination malpractices,” and has expressed his disgust about the leakage and the form it took.

Speaking to the Chronicle in an interview, following examination malpractices that have rocked the University of Ghana, the minister said, “The University authorities have their own internal processes to settle such matters,” and therefore expected the report sent to the disciplinary committee would “provide or give well-prescribed sanctions for the accused persons involved in the matter.”

He said, the Ministry is set, “to protect the integrity of the university, and we are also waiting for the recommendations of the committee.”

On her part, The Minister of State responsible for Tertiary Education, Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, also indicated government's worry, “as far as the credibility of the university is concerned.”

According to her, “If everybody obeyed the rules and regulations, that problem would not have happened. The students have to know that they are in the university to study and therefore must work harder in order not to cheat in their exams.”

She encourages “the university authorities to do what is required through the report, to restore public confidence.”

She said, “Examination malpractices and leakages do happen; senior secondary schools, and training colleges, have all experienced it, but it is the first time someone has been exposed to the whole public.”

She cautioned on the need “not to do anything to tarnish the image or the credibility of the university, because when that happens, it affects the integrity of the country.”

Professor Ofori-Sarpong, when contacted, indicated they were “Now putting some mechanisms in place to deal with the offenders,” therefore would not make further comments.

It was contained in the report that Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Edward Ofori-Sarpong had asked for support for his daughter.

Prof Ofori Sarpong is said to have approached Prof Clara Fayorsey, head of Department of Sociology to review the mark awarded to his daughter, a sociology student.

Following reports of various examination malpractices and leakages, the Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof. Edward Ofori-Sarpong, set up a 6-member committee headed, by Stephen Mfodwo, a retired Deputy Registrar, of the university. The committee's report has however attracted much public attention because the Pro Vice chancellor, as well as some highly-place officials of the university have been implicated.

The report has also indicted a son of the Vice Chancellor, Kwadwo Tabiri Asenso-Okyere, as having facilitated the widespread leakages.

The report cited Tabiri as being responsible for the leakage of four papers, which he sold for between ¢300,000 and ¢1million to some students, mostly Nigerians.

He got the poor grades he obtained in his 'Philosophy 204' examinations changed from a grade “F” to 'B', after several attempts and also rewarded with a grade 'A', in 'PHIL 306', an examination he did not sit for.

It was alleged that Prof Kwesi Agyeman, Head of the Philosophy Department, influenced his grade changes.

Professor Agyeman, who was reported as implicated by the committee, when contacted said, “It is a subject of litigations; let the court speak.”

Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor has issued a statement assuring the public that he would implement any sanctions that the disciplinary committee would come with concerning his son, to the letter. - And blasts NSS Board ... orders reinstatement of sacked Ag. Coordinator The Minister of Education and Sports, Mr. Osafo Maafo, has warned the board of directors of the National Service Scheme (NSS) to revoke their decision to relieve the Acting Coordinator, Mr. Abeiku Dickson of his post.

He emphasized that the board, headed by Prof. Kwesi Agyeman, who allegedly assisted the son of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, to get his poor grades in Philosophy 204 changed from 'F' to 'A' after two attempts, for an examination he did not sit at all, was wrong to take the decision without his concern.

He condemned the board for being unfair to the Ag Coordinator since the decision they took was not properly considered.

In an interview with the Chronicle yesterday, Mr. Osafo Maafo said under the Civil Service Laws, when one is under probation for a position the board has to take a year to take a decision on whether or not to confirm the person.

He noted that in the case of the Ag Coordinator, he was on probation for only six months so the board should not have taken that decision.

According to him, “In all fairness, they should have taken their time for his probation to have expired.”

He said the board should be able to give concrete reason why the Ag Coordinator's post should not be confirmed since in his opinion, he does not see why Mr. Dickson's post should not be confirmed.

Mr. Osafo Maafo stressed that he has written to the board to suspend their decision, pending investigation.

He hinted that the Castle was trying as much as possible to find amicable solution to the issue as soon as possible.

Chronicle gathered that the action taken by the board was a personal vendetta against the Ag Co-ordinator.

Investigations conducted by the Chronicle revealed that the youth of the New Patriotic Party are boiling up over the decision of the board since Mr. Dickson was their man for the possible position of General Secretary in the party since the current General Secretary, Mr. Dan Botwe, has been engaged as the Minister of Information.

The investigations also revealed that Mr. Dickson, a Ghanaian returnee from the US, before he was relieved of his post, was in the process of launching a job fair for service personnel.

Chronicle gathered under the job fair, the national service personnel at the termination point would come in contact with the employers for a permanent job since most personnel after their service do not get any job to do and as a result stay in the house.

The paper learnt that this programme, which was supported by the Pan African Student Summit, would have landed about 50,000 jobs for the youth.

Another laudable initiative that was in the process of implementation by Lawyer Dickson was on-line personnel posting.

The on-line initiative was to relieve of the personnel of the burden of going to their regional national service secretariat to locate their posting since one would just have to go to an internet café to browse and search where he has been posted.

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