WASSCE 2023: Clement Apaak exposes government

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Builsa South Member of Parliament, Dr Clement Apaak has cut into pieces government communicators who are celebrating the performance of students who sat for WASSCE 2023. WAEC released the results this week with many students excelling in the exams. While government communicators praise Akufo-Addo’s flagship Free SHS as the reason for the stellar performance and argue that it will expose the students to further opportunities, Dr Apaak thinks otherwise.

According to the Deputy Ranking Member of Education, the results are because Ghanaian students have been writing a “customized” version of WASSCE since 2020. He explained that the government opted to push through and ensure Ghananian students sat for the examinations in 2020 despite the other WAEC member nations pushing theirs to 2021 due to COVID-19.

Apaak then asked why the Ghanaian government has decided not to revert to the regional-level WASSCE but rather continue to let students write what he calls ‘GHASSCE’. He added that regardless of how good the results are, they can neither be compared with the results of students pre-COVID-19 nor the results of other member states.

Read Dr Apaak’s full statement below.

WASSCE [GHASSCE] 2023 RESULTS And MATTERS ARISING

19/12/2023

The purpose of this article is to share the bare truth based on records, with the Ghanaian public, key stakeholders of our democracy. In the wake of WAEC’s publication of the 2023 WASSCE results, apologists of the failed Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP government have been busy pushing a rather fraudulent narrative.

What many may not know is that, since 2020, students in Ghana have written a customised, Ghana-specific WASSCE. Or, if you like, GHASSCE.  There is a bit of explanation on this. Other member nations of WASSCE postponed their 2020 WASSCE examinations to 2021 due to the unanticipated emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ghana government, however, hurriedly made arrangements with WAEC to enable Ghanaian students write their examination in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, ignoring adherent dangers it posed, coupled with the credibility of government as the sovereign and protector of citizens, at stake.

The Daily Graphic online, 18th December 2023, succinctly captures this truth in its opening paragraph on the subject matter, as follows: “Provisional results of candidates who sat for the 2023 Ghana Only Version of WASSCE for school candidates have been released by the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC).”

Consequently, it is dishonest on the part of anyone to compare results of Ghanaian students who wrote the regional-level WASSCE before 2020, to those who wrote the customised Ghana WASSCE or GHASSCE, from 2020 to the present. At best, we can only compare the results of WASSCE [GHASSCE] 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, as WAEC has rightly done in its press release announcing the 2023 results.

Equally, the performance of Ghanaian students from 2020 to the present can not be compared to their peers in the other WAEC member nations who still write the traditional regional level examination. This explains why, unlike the period before 2020, no Ghanaian student has won the prestigious West African Examination Council International Excellence award.

In 2014, three Ghanaian students who participated in the award competition with other students from other WAEC member nations swept all three top awards. According to a GNA report dated March 12, 2015, the overall top candidate, Hasan Mickail, a former student of Ghana Secondary Technical School [GSTS] in the Western Region, who was the best candidate in the General Science Programme, both at the national and international level, also won the Bandele Award in the whole of West Africa.

The question many stakeholders in education are legitimately asking is, why has Ghana not abandoned the Ghana-specific WASSCE [GHASSCE] to rejoin the regional level examination or WASSCE, in this post-COVID era?

Until our students write the same examinations at the regional level, their performance can not be compared to their pre-covid [pre-FSHS] seniors nor their other West African peers.

Dr. Clement Apaak

MP/PC, Builsa South and Deputy Ranking Member, Education Committee

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