CUTS Ghana, a research and advocacy policy think tank in Accra is calling on the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education to abolish the scratch cards requirement that Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West African Senior Secondary Certificate (WASSCE) candidates pay to access their results online.
Speaking before the press, the Country Coordinator for CUTS Ghana Mr Appiah Kusi Adomako said that the practice by which the exams body charges candidate’s money before they access their exams is exploitation. According to Mr. Adomako, across the world exams, bodies do not charge students any money when candidates want to check their exams.
“In the past when candidates sat for the BECE and the WASSCE, the exams body sent candidates’ results slips to their various schools. When the WAEC decided to go online with its results in 2004, it then required candidates to pay to view their results. Though this practice is an improvement from the previous one, mandating candidates to pay to view results is illegal and amounts to extortion,” he said.
Mr. Appiah Adomako said “It must be noted that the WAEC has cut down cost tremendously by going electronic and publishing the results of candidate online. “By default, when a system moves from manual to electronic, the cost associated with it reduces, so there is no valid reasons to surcharge candidates. The Council saves a lot of money for not printing results slips and having them sent to schools across the country via road. The savings derived from this innovation is enough to allow the candidates to view their exams online for free. Kenya which also moved from the paper-based to electronic means of checking results does it for free. Zambia is also another example”
Speaking on the placement system, Mr. Adomako lamented why candidates have to incur cost to know which school that they have been placed. Government introduced the Computer School Placement System for admissions into Senior High Schools to help alleviate the challenges that had bedevilled the previous system.
“With this new system a candidate had to pay to know the school which he/she had been placed. In the past, the state was incurring more cost in placing candidates manually. With this computer-based placement, the cost has come down substantially” he opined.
“Mr Adomako said currently, the WAEC and GES charge GHC 5.00 each to allow a candidate to access results online and know the school which he/she had been placed.
International Best Practices
The WAEC and the GES are not the only institution in the world that runs exams or handles placement for candidates. In many countries worldwide, candidates who want to view their results online are not made to pay money. At the universities and polytechnics in the country, a student can view the results many times without having to pay. Students who sit for ACCA, TOEFL, SAT, GRE, ILETS and ICA do not have to pay to access their results online.
Mr. Adomako is there calling on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to step in and stop this illegality.