In 1994, the NDC Government under late President Jerry John Rawlings with then Minister of Education, the late Harry Sawyer, instituted the Best Teacher Award Scheme to appreciate teachers as builders of the human resource of the nation. This award usually coincides with the celebration of the World Teachers Day on 5th October each year. In 2018, the NPP Government rebranded the scheme under a new name, the Ghana Teacher Prize. The 2023 version was celebrated in Takoradi on 5th October. The events went on very successfully, but two occurrences caught my attention, which are the focus of this piece.

2. *The Ghana Teacher Price “Rebel” Without Cause*
The elephant in the room at the celebration was the presence of the President of the Republic, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.
This was a miraculous occurrence, a surprise, not only to all teachers but to the organisers of the event as well. For me as a teacher, the boycott of the Best Teacher Award, now the Ghana Teacher Price events by the President in the previous years had given me nightmares. My mind wandered in the wilderness looking for the crime teachers had committed against our President.
Since the institution of this award scheme, all Presidents – J. J. Rawlings, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills (may their souls rest in peace), and John Dramani Mahama – had always graced the Best Teacher Award each year during their tenures.
Surprisingly, President Nana Akufo Addo chose to boycott the award scheme that his Government had rebranded as the Ghana Teacher Price for over six years (2017 – 2022) much to the dismay and sometimes, to the anger of the teacher unions.
However, like Saul, whose name had to change to Paul after his encounter with God on his way to Damascus, and like the biblical Jonah on a boycott mission to Nineveh, the *”rebel against teachers without cause,”* the one who held teachers in disdain for six years, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, turned from being *born against* teachers to a repentant Paul, and a teachers’ friend in 2023 and graced the teachers day in Takoradi. Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum’s name needs to enter the Guiness Book of Records for being able to use his “Educational Transformation” magic to transform the President who had held teachers in disdain over the years. May it be so that President Akufo Addo will again be present at the event in 2024 to say goodbye to teachers before he leaves the scene on 6th January 2025. I could see from his face and body language, how happy he was at the events.
But never again should Ghana be saddled with such a type of President who harboured such a level of disdain against teachers and their unions. Let teachers all over the country shout AMEN !

3. *My Bigger Nightmare*
Another nightmare to me was the comparison by both the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum and the President, of the WASSCE results from 2017 – 2022 with those of 2015 and 2016 in an attempt to score a political point. As I watched the President try to beat his chest in praise of his double track system, I asked myself if Ghana today and our education in particular, have become a cesspool of moral filth under the President and his Minister of Education. Two reasons informed my worry.

i) *Sub-Regional WASSCE Against Ghana WASSCE (GHASSCE)*
My first reason is the attempt by the President to compare mangoes with oranges. Since 2020, Ghana has effectively left the sub-regionally organised West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to organise a local or Ghana-made WASSCE which I call Ghana Senior School Certificate Examination (GHASSCE). So how then could the President be comparing a local examination results with those of an international status? It is as though the President and Minister were telling Ghanaians that Kibi Senior High Technical School, or Jarchie Pramso Senior High School, or Mepe St. Kizito SHTS, can organise an end of year examination set and marked by teachers of those schools, and compare the results of the students to that of WASSCE organised by the sub-regional body, WAEC. It amounts to comparing mangoes with oranges.
Maybe, the President had been misled by the Minister into believing that the two sets of results he was comparing were the same. Let the President be informed that the 2015 and 2016 WASSCE results were from the sub-regional WAEC while the 2020 – 2022 results were not, and cannot, be WASSCE. At best, they should appropriately be called GHASSCE – Ghana Senior School Certificate Examination. If Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum and the President are not afraid, they should revert and join the sub-regional WASSCE where the manipulation of the questions in the schools and results by the education authorities for political benefits are eliminated. Should that happen, we can then compare the 2024 results with those of 2015/2016. Even that, analysis of the *quality passes* would be more meaningful. For instance school A may record 95% pass but the best result is C4 as against another school with 68% pass with 100 students obtaining grade A1, 400 grade B2 and 430 grade B3. Do we say school A with 95% pass did better than School B with 68%? Why didn’t the Minister present the quality pass?

ii) *Fraudulent GHASSCE*
Another relevant point the President and Minister deliberately and conveniently ignored when doing the comparison was the fraud associated with the GHASSCE (Ghana’s version of WASSCE) from 2020 to date.
Since 2020, my team has brought to the attention of the Government and the education authorities the malpractices bedeviling the Ghana version of the WASSCE (GHASSCE) but they have turned a stone deaf ear to it. They see no evil, hear no evil, and thus, speak no evil.
In connection with the 2023 GHASSCE alone, we wrote about seven articles on the examination malpractices. The actual dates of these articles were 20th August, 28th August, 5th September, 6th September, 10th September, 13th September and 17th September.
The 6th September 2023 article was titled *”CAN THE ANCHOR HOLD FOR THE WEST AFRICAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL (WAEC)?”* while the 13th September 2023 article had the heading *”The WASSCE EXAMINATION MALPRACTICES – HOW DID WE GET THERE?”*
In these articles, and previous ones published in 2020, 2021 and 2022, we pointed out that the reason why no Government official – the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Director General of the GES, Dr. Eric Nkansah, and the President, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo – had not condemned the examination malpractices going on, even commented on them, was political. I predicted that they wanted to get good results through the fraud so they could use the results as a campaign message for the 2024 elections. Today, I got to know how prophetic that prediction has become when both the Minister and President did just that.
Now let’s compare the results of the WASSCE of 2015/2016 to the WASSCE of 2017/2018 when the examination malpractices had not yet reached a crescendo with the “Akufo Addo graduates.”
*English Language*: 51 6% in 2016 as against 52.24% in 2017 and 46.79% in 2018.
*Mathematics*: 33.12% in 2016 as against 41 66% in 2017 and 38.15% in 2018.
*Social Studies*: 54.55% in 2016 as against 42.52% in 2017.
*Integrated Science*: 48.35% in 2016 as against 52.89% in 2017 and 50.48% in 2018.
In all instances, the results of the WASSCE prior to 2017 and after showed no significant differences. It was only when the WASSCE changed to GHASSCE from 2020 with concomitant escalating examination malpractices that the passes increased in percentage in 2021 to 54.08% for English, 65.70% for Science, 54.11% for Mathematics, and 66.03% for Social Studies.
I dare say that if the WASSCE 2015 and 2016 had benefitted from the examination malpractices that have characterised the GHASSCE since 2020, the passes would have been above 90%.

4. *Prayers*
I saw a video in which Osofo Kyere Abosom prayed for politicians looting state funds as if there is no tomorrow to die through motor accidents during election campaigns or heart attack when they go to bed at night. But for the fact that I am constrained as a former leader of teachers in this country, I would have been waiting for a signal from the Osofo for the Headmasters, Assistant Headmasters in charge of the examinations, and invigilators perpetuating this examination fraud on our education system.
In conclusion, there is no basis for touting the fraudulent results of the GHASSCE against the WASSCE results of 2016. Even that, don’t we need to consider the quality passes? School A might have 96% pass in the WASSCE with the best result being grade C5, while school B might have 65% pass with 100 students obtaining grade A1, 300 grade B2 and 430 grade B3. Do we say school A performed better than school B?

Dated: Thursday 5th October, 2023

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