Preventing examination malpractices, a shared responsibility for credible results 

A GNA Feature by Regina Benneh 

Sunyani, March 24, GNA – The contribution of education to every well-developed society cannot be overstated as it goes a long way to shape a person’s overall wellbeing in terms of character, intellect, social and financial standing. 

It also helps gain financial and social independence and develops a healthy mindset that propels personal, individual and community advancement. 

Education is, thus, a multi-faceted and indispensable tool for the progress and prosperity of a nation and drives economic growth, reduces poverty, enhances human capital, and contributes to cultural preservation. 

In a broader sense, education, both formal and informal, is vital for a country’s development because it equips its citizens with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to enable them to contribute to economic growth, foster innovation and participate effectively in democratic processes. 

Education has countless crucial benefits for a country and individuals seeking a prosperous future because it opens doors for better opportunities, boosts personal growth and confidence for the strengthening of societies’ progress. 

The promotion of social progress by empowering individuals with the ability to make informed decisions about their lives and fostering tolerance, diversity and social cohesion, reducing societal inequalities for a just and equitable society are all the resultant effects of education. 

Enhancement of a country’s global competitiveness by producing skilled workforce capable of adapting to rapidly changing technological and economic landscapes could not bepossible without a strong education system, which tend to attract foreign investment, stimulate innovation, and maintain a competitive edge in the global market. 

Another essential aspect of education is to nurture and provide information to citizens who could actively participate in democratic processes to encourage critical thinking, civic engagement and the ability to hold government officials accountable, while promoting gender equality and development. 

Education and Examination  

Formal education is attained progressively from the basic through secondary to the tertiary level. Throughout the various levels, examination plays a crucial role.  

The school examinations (internal) and external examination bodies like the West African Examination Council (WAEC) all help in determining the progress of a pupil or student to the next level. 

Before a pupil or student is examined, it is expected that the necessary knowledge will have been imparted through effective teaching and learning. 

In that regard, it is expected that having been taught and prepared well by the schools, ideally, examinations will be malpractice-free, but the reverse has been the case in recent years. 

The question then is why the rampant examination malpractices, some of which result in dire consequences like subject cancelations and withholding of results by the WAEC?  

In any case no one is ready to take responsibility for those shameful acts. 

West African Examination Council’s Report 

A report by the Public Affairs Department of the WAEC, in an update on the conduct of West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) last year, must be a wake-up call to all to make conscious efforts to prevent and end examination malpractices to safeguard the future of the nation. 


In the report, WAEC stated it was overwhelmed by widespread examination malpractices recorded at various examination centres as the National Intelligence Bureau and the Police busted hundreds of students with foreign materials, impersonators and invigilators aiding in a malpractice cartel and trading questions for various sums of money. 

It is alleged that some of the invigilators charged between GhC500.00 and GhC1000.00 to assist students during examinations. 

The practice gave those candidates a certain sense of entitlement and, therefore, they wanted to be allowed to have their way. 

The story is not different from the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and even at the tertiary level. 

Mr Anthony Kwasi Logodzo, the Branch Controller of the WAEC Office for the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions, said some of the common examination irregularities detected in 2023 were foreign materials on candidates in the examination halls.  

He confirmed to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani that quite a number of the candidates were caught with prepared notes and pages torn from their textbooks with the intention to using them to answer questions. 

Mr Logodzo said the team from his office almost every day recorded some incidents of malpractices at some examination centres, and that to curtail the situation all those involved should be identified and sanctioned. 

He noted that teachers, parents, invigilators and even some school authorities facilitated the malpractices, adding that the trend had been worrying and undermining the integrity of the examination. 

He conceded to the national challenge, which must be eradicated through a shared responsibility to maintain the credibility of the examination in the coming years. 

Causes of Malpractices 

Research has shown the most common causes of malpractice in Ghana are the pressure to meet high parental demands for excellent results, bad study habits, desire to avoid failure, anxiety and poor supervision. 

Others are the lack of basic learning resources, inadequate seating arrangements, the congested nature of the examination rooms or halls, bad teaching techniques and schools’ desire to come on top of results ranking tables. 


It is time for the Ghana Education Service and WAEC to jointly institute measures and initiate actions against those individuals and groups, either candidates, invigilators or supervisors involved in the malpractices. 

This can be done through diverse measures like strict adherence to the rules governing the examination, while punishment and sanctions are meted out to the culprits in order to prevent marring the integrity of examinations held in Ghana.