Gov’t buys pasco for WASSCE candidates again; Minority raises concerns over cost

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The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has affirmed government’s acquisition of past questions for applicants getting ready during the current year’s West Africa Senior Schools Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

Reacting to an inquiry on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, July 14, Dr Osei Adutwum said the previous questions were obtained from Kingdom Books and Office Stationery at an absolute expense of nearly GHS35 million.

This goes ahead the impact points of a comparable move last year.

That move created discussion with a previous Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, who was additionally a Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2020 decisions, reprimanding it as in reverse.

“Achieving good results from our students cannot be achieved by buying past questions,” she said during one of her tours ahead of last year’s polls, which her party lost.

“We can only do that by grooming the children well, by supporting the teachers, by putting methods in place for strict supervision and accountability.”

In Parliament on Tuesday, the Education Minister said understudies in top schools didn’t have difficulties approaching past questions and, in any event, being instructed by inspectors.

“But for those of us who went to these ‘mushroom schools’, past questions was something we never saw. So this is an opportunity for our students to have access to Examiner’s Report, responses to previous questions so that they can study.”

Up until this point, 446,958 past inquiries at a unit cost of GHS78 have been obtained for the 2021 WASSCE applicants.

This is a 32 percent expansion in the unit cost of last year’s, a worry communicated by the Minority in Parliament.

Member of Parliament for Builsa South Constituency Dr Clement Apaak, who is additionally the Ranking Member on Education Committee, shown that there is cause to stress over this.

“Why government will spend GHS68,513,455.75 to buy 1,035,733 exam questions through sole source from same company two years in a row, and agree to pay for same exam questions at GHS78 per unit, when it paid GHS59 per unit only a year ago, a whopping 32% increase, begs the question,” he wrote after asking the question on the floor of Parliament.

“Interestingly, the price of textbooks used by Senior High School students have not increased over the period. So how can cost of past exam questions increased by 32% from the same supplier?”

The Minister of Education said the presentation of up-and-comers in last year’s WASSCE legitimizes the choice.

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