19.07.2005 General News

Authorities dealing with exam malpractices

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Accra, July 19, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, on Tuesday said there were no specific laws dealing with examination leakages and there was the need therefore, to refine existing laws to handle the situation.

He said the Ghana Education Service (GES) was taking steps to address this issue.

The Minister, answering a question in Parliament however said the Ministry, GES and the West African Examination Council "have put in stringent measures to curb the spate of examination leakages in the country."

Mr Joe Gididsu, NDC-Central Tongu, had asked for steps being taken to control and eventually eliminate the spate of exam leakages and other malpractices in the sector.

The Minister said because of various measures put in place, there was a "leakage-free exam during the recent Basic Education Certificate Education examination. So far we are on course to ensure a leakage-free Senior Secondary School Certificate Education Examination, which ends on the 3rd of August, 2005," Mr Osafo-Maafo said.

He said security arrangements have been made in the areas of printing of papers, distribution and storage and the movement of question papers to exam halls to curb the spate of exam malpractices throughout the country.

"Mr Speaker, I am unable to disclose details of this arrangement for security reasons. We are confident of leakage-free exams this year," the Minister said.

In an answer to another question on relations between the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers, (NAGRAT) in pursuance of the professional and trade union rights of teachers in the country, the Minister said the Labour Act spells out details of the rights of workers in the country.

On the specific question of the status of NAGRAT in relations to trade union rights, the Minister said the group currently had no trade union rights.

The Education Minister also touched on the question of when the promotion of eligible classroom teachers to the position of directorship and above would be effected.

He said the GES Council has been tasked to come out with a more pragmatic way to handle these promotions, because of problems of supervision and discipline, which has to be dealt with first. When Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, Communications Minister took his turn to answer questions, he said various communities, including some in the north, would soon enjoy telephone services by the end of next year. In an answer to a question from Mr John Tia, NDC-Talensi, on when Tongo, the capital of the newly created Talensi-Nabdam District would enjoy these services, the Minister said Tongo was having some coverage from the Ghana Telecom switch in Bolgatanga.

"Ghana Telecom plans to deploy a GSM payphone in the area very soon. The other network operators will be deploying in the district by the middle of the year, 2006," the Minister said.

He said it was the intention of government to provide modern telephone facilities to every part of the country within the shortest possible time.

The Minister said Ghana Telecom expects to provide services to Nkwanta and its surrounding towns in the Volta Region by the second quarter of 2006, while Millicom Ghana Limited planned to cover the same area in July next year.

Mr Kan Dapaah said: "Scancom Ghana projects an earlier date that should see the 024 GSM available in Nkwanta by the end of the first quarter of 2006."

He said similar telephone services would also be extended to cover Drobo in the Jaman District and Twifo Praso in the Hemang Lower Denkyira District by 2006.

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