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The West African Examination Council (WAEC), says a new trend of examination malpractice is emerging, where some candidates hide money and contact numbers in answer booklets in a bid to influence their exam results.

The contact numbers come with the inscriptions, call me, help me, call my mom, to appeal to the examiners.

The Council has also made a strong case for a review of the sanction regime to curtail the recurrence of these examination illegalities.

A recent study by WAEC revealed a worrying trend of rising examination malpractice in the country.

The period between 2021 and 2023, showed a significant increase in the percentage of candidates involved in examination malpractice from 2% in 2021 to 10% in 2023.

WAEC’s Head of Corporate Affairs, John Kapi said “The Council is recording a high number of cases where candidates write telephone numbers or the phrase “help me”, “call me”, “just call my mom” in their answer booklets and add GHC50 or more to it.

Mr Kapi said their Staff, Ghana Education Service, and GNAT, personnel from the Ghana Police Service, National Security, National Intelligence Bureau as well as external monitoring agents have been recruited by the Council to monitor the examinations.

Head of Legal Affairs at WAEC, Rev. Victor Brew, made a case for a review of the current sanction regime to deter others.

”The current penalty points in the law translates into a fine of between GHC1,200 to GHC3,000, which is not deterrent enough. If we can have a change in it to an amount that is hefty, then we can make some head way and deter others,” he added.

The Council also revealed that it has reported some 19 cases of examination malpractice, out of which 4 have been convicted with two cases being heard.

The Ghana Police Service is investigating the remaining cases.

This year’s BECE will begin from Monday July 8 and end on Monday July 15, with 569,095 students expected to sit the exam.

By Grace Hamoah Agyemang