The West African Examinations Council, WAEC, has reacted to reports that it collaborated with fraudulent websites to leak question papers through syndicates to candidates.
The Council’s Head of Public Affairs, Mr Demianus Ojijeogu, in a statement said the question papers for the ongoing WASSCE for school candidates , 2018, did not leak as reported in the media.
According to him, leakage could be said to have occurred when question papers got into the hands of individuals who were not supposed to have them before the time scheduled on the timetable.
He said, “WAEC monitoring and investigations of the ongoing examination have established the fact that certain school principals, invigilators, supervisors and candidates who had succeeded in smuggling mobile phones and other electronic devices into the examination hall, snap the question papers after the examination must have commenced and forward to their criminal collaborators who in turn provide solutions to the questions and send to their subscribers via rogue websites, sms, WhatsApp and other social media.
“In several cases during our monitoring and investigations, it was discovered that question papers of previous examinations were photoshopped by this despicable elements to scam gullible candidates who patronize their rogue websites and WhatsApp platforms.
“Therefore, we took the following measures to ensure that question papers do not find their way out of the examination hall and that solutions do not get to the subscribing candidates in the examination hall.
“Thorough searching of the candidates before entering the examination hall; banning of supervisors and invigilators from taking their mobile phones and other electronic devices into the examination hall; briefing of school principals on their liability should any of their candidates be caught with mobile phones or other electronic devices in the examination hall; cancellation of entire results of candidates that brought mobile phones and other electronic devices into the examination hall.
“An effective solution to the menace of rogue websites can either be the jamming of mobile networks within a specified radius in and around the examination halls or the shutting down of the internet throughout the country during the period of the examination as has been done in some countries but those are beyond the powers of the council.
“It is worthy of note that the council has the capability and capacity to detect and punish candidates who must have benefited from the fraudulent activities of the operators of rogue websites and WhatsApp platforms.”