The paradigm through which students are evaluated in exams needs to alter, according to Dr. Samuel Ofori Bekoe, the Institute for Teachers and Continuous Development’s deputy director.
This follows the publication of a study by Corruption Watch that exposed a massive system of cheating during the 2021 WASSCE.
Mr. Bekoe said on Thursday’s Super Morning Show on Joy FM; “our whole outlook of examination and what we deem it as, especially the WASSCE and BECE referred to as high stake exam, which is used to determine the life progress of a student” have contributed to the high incidence of malpractice.
“We also have this situation where the examination is being used to select more or less the good students from those who are not achieving. Those who are deemed to have achieved are pushed forward unto the next level and if we have more students going through this process and yet very few are going to be selected, then you know the pressure that you’ve brought to bear,” he said.
He claims that another reason is the accountability system, which forces instructors to go above and beyond to guarantee that their students score well because it measures teachers’ professional status based on how well their students perform on exams.
He continued by saying that one factor in the rise in exam fraud is people’s desire to know what would be on the exam paper so they may memorize it and use it to their advantage when the time comes.
He demanded a change in the evaluation approach based on the criteria listed in order to lower exam irregularities.
He recommended, among other things, that the students be assessed authentically.
He remarked, defining what he meant by ‘authentic assessment’; “authentic assessment by its nature in itself talks about assessment by students and teachers themselves and sometimes by practice where students themselves are part of determining how they have to be assessed and what to be assessed on.”
“When we make things transparent to students it reduces anxiety and once the examination anxiety is reduced the urge to resort to examination malpractice will automatically go down,” he said.