Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has not taken lightly, comments by former Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, which ostensibly put into question, the performance of Free Senior High School (SHS) graduates in the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The Minister said it is unfortunate for Prof. Opoku-Agyemang to make suggestions that demoralize the students and by extension denigrate the exams body – the West African Examination Council (WAEC), which conducted the exams across the sub-region.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, a former Education Minister in the NDC administration, who also was running -mate for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 elections, has discredited the 2020 WASSCE results, suggesting that there was mass exam cheating by the students.
But in a reaction to the claims on Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV on Tuesday, Dr. Adutwum pleaded with his colleague to be mindful with her utterances, particularly on claims that she cannot substantiate.
“When she speaks, the world listens. I plead with the Hon. Minister [Naana Jane] that she should measure her words carefully when talking about WASSCE and WAEC”, he said.
“The students did so well and instead [of] commending them, you look at these young men and women and tell them that they cheated”
“WAEC has an algorithm to detect students who have cheated and catch them every year. What [Naana Jane] has taken for granted [is that], some students may not get scholarships to certain universities around the world because they are going to look at them and say they have cheated and don’t deserve to get the scholarship”.
What did Naana Jane say?
The former Education Minister, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, in a media interaction, discredited the government’s much-touted unprecedented WASSCE results following the implementation of the Free SHS policy.
She doubted how the students were able to pass the exams in the wake of what she described as ineffective teaching and learning amidst alleged widespread leakage of the exam papers, asking Ghanaians not to celebrate it as a success.
“We heard of the leakage of the exams, we heard of invigilators being compromised, we heard many things, and we also saw the students come out and speak about, ‘no this is not what we were told will happen’, now these students have As, and we are happy? It is up to us”, she pointed out.
But Dr. Adutwum says these assertions should be ignored because they are meant to score cheap political points to run down the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) flagship program.
“This is not any personal attack against her. I am speaking to the facts.”
“Under her watch as the Minister of Education in 2015, 23.9% of the students obtained Al to C6 in Maths; in the midst of COVID-19, under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, these students courageously sat for the exam and obtained a score of 66.05%. The least she can do is commend the hard-working teachers, heads of this nation who supported these students through thick or thin because they did the impossible.”