Education Minister Yaw Osei Adutwum has urged Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang to watch what she says about the government’s free education policy and the recent WASSCE results because it has the tendency to affect Ghanaian students negatively.
Dr Adutwum’s comment comes after Prof Opoku-Agyemang, in an interview with Woezor TV, questioned why the government takes pride in the performance of SHS students in the 2020 WASSCE despite widespread reports of leakages and cheating.
The former education minister said among others: “We have also heard and seen students who wrote an exam, came out and it was like, you know we had an earthquake in this country, it wasn’t like one school or two schools… this same group’s performance is supposed to be outstanding that we shouldn’t be talking, it is the group I am referring to".
“And they went and wrote the exams, we heard of the leakage of the exams, we heard of invigilators being compromised, we heard many things and we also saw the students come out and speak about, ‘no, this is not what we were told will happen’, now these students have As and we are happy? It is up to us.”
Reacting to these statements on Good Evening Ghana, Dr Adutwum cautioned Prof Opoku-Agyemang not to say things she cannot substantiate.
He said: “What this honourable minister has probably taken for granted is that when you speak in Ghana you’re speaking to the entire globe. Because of what she has said, some students will not get scholarships to certain universities around the world because they are going to look at them and say ‘you cheated in your home country and you don’t deserve to get a scholarship from us.’
“Some students are not going to get admission to some important and great institutions around the world because of what the minister has said and this is something we need to be mindful of.
“This is not yesteryears world, this is today’s world, social media world, what this minister has said will travel across the globe and God forbid some students are going to lose an opportunity because of what she said and I think we don’t have to for whatever reason say things that we can’t substantiate especially when you had that position.
“When you speak, the world listens and I’ll plead with the honourable minister that she should measure her words when talking about WASSCE and WAEC, an international organisation, and telling Nigerians that ‘yes, Ghanaians did better than you but as a former minister I heard they cheated’”.
Dr Adutwum explained that the 2020 WASSCE candidates demonstrated because they thought they had the questions but somebody tricked them… “so students were disappointed that the leaked questions were not accurate, how then do we say they did well because they cheated? If they got the leaked questions will they go out and demonstrate?” he quizzed.