I’ve always argued that contrary to Ghanaians pointing fingers at politicians as corrupt individuals; almost every ordinary Ghanaian is involved in some sort of corrupt enterprise in his or her backyard. Again, the fact that the politicians are regularly selected from the pool Ghanaians shows that they are no different from the masses.
The Ghanaian society is pathetically rotten at all levels—and the only way we can deal with corruption which is costing us both money and our integrity is to tackle it from the grass root.
No country is immune from examination malpractices and question leakages but in Ghana, this is just not a misfortune, it’s a convention. Both the learning and teaching units go all out to look for examination questions—and some institutions as well as individuals pay huge sums of money to actually get their hands on these materials.
At that level, we may not consider such actions as corruption or thievery—we may think we are being smart, trying to play the system to obtain what we do not deserve.
Our leaders have this same mind-set; awarding a contract to a Nephew who does not deserve it does not amount to corruption, it’s just playing smart or beating the system.
Almost each year, examination papers are leaked in Ghana and if you’ve not perched this tradition alongside the hovering national epidemic-corruption, take a few minutes to do so. It’s all about cheating; and we actually entertain this from the lowest level of our educational systems.
During my Secondary School days, several students stayed up till dawn—and don’t get me wrong, they were not learning. They were making ‘tiny books’ where they would write key information. These books were mostly smuggled into examination halls—for them, they were being smart but for us all, it’s the beginning of dishonesty, the foundation of corruption.
In fact, during our final examinations, students traveled across the entire country looking for ‘Apor’ instead of revising or learning new things. Once again, our failure to check these activities in our education institutions is the reason why we are stuck with countless corrupt officials.
Today, the Deputy Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES)-Stephen Adu has confirmed that 5 BECE papers have been cancelled, because the questions were out there before the day of the examinations. In fact, students took to all means to get access to these questions and share them.
The subjects; English Language 2, Religious and Moral Education 2, Science 2, and Mathematics 2 and Social Studies 2 have all been cancelled…
This may seem like just examination questions which have leaked but beyond that, it exposes the rot in our societies—even in our education systems where our future leaders are trained.
Students in Ghana seem more concerned about cheating than learning—and many teachers play part in ensuring that examination questions are obtained before the day of the exams. So their students would obtain undeserving marks.
We cannot uproot corruption from our political atmosphere—never. Because, even if we kill all the politicians, the new set we will bring in will be equally corrupt. The skills of corruption are necessary to go through our education systems.
Therefore, to effectively deal with corruption, it has to start with our educational systems and our homes…