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The West Africa Examination Council is expected to raise 60 percent of its budgetary allocation for 2016 through its internally generated funds (IGF), a report of the Parliamentary Committee on Education has revealed.
A total of GHC20.7million was allocated to the council, of which GHC12.3million came from its IGF, which is an indication that government support to the council was just 40 percent.
WEAC raised most of its IGF from the sale of results-checking scratch-cards, sale of forms to private candidates, as well as registration of candidates, both at senior high school and junior high school levels.
The approved examination fee for the 2016 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) is GHC63 per candidate, though government has promised to subsidise 70 percent of the approved fees.
The government support and expected IGF are seen as insufficient to fund operations of the exam council amid the widespread leakage of examination papers that was witnessed in the 2015 BECE.
WAEC has informed the Parliamentary Committee on Education that, as a means of addressing the problem of exam leakages, it is taking such corrective measures such as increasing monitoring of examinations at various centres and using Differential Software to detect malpractices in multi-choice test.
Nonetheless, parliament is seemingly not satisfied with the efforts by WAEC to tackle exam malpractice, saying: “The committee is however of the view that although the measures being taken by the council are good, they appear to be more of ex-post measures and thus do not prevent the conditions that serve as fertile ground for examination malpractices.
“The committee therefore urged the council to institute more proactive measures to ensure that, as much as possible, loopholes for examination malpractices are blocked,” the committee said.
But some stakeholders in the education sector who spoke to the B&FT said the council could only put corrective measures if it is well-resourced financially.
They said since WAEC is still on government budget it is therefore incumbent on government to resource it to become very effective as an examination regulator, so as to ensure students write various examinations without leakages or malpractices and raise the standard of education in the country.
The council will use a minute GHC50,000 out of its entire budget to procure goods and services for the year 2016; some experts believe this is very small for the Council to use in procuring the relevant services to enable it tackle the menace.