Illegal students registration: WAEC arrests former headmaster

A former Headmaster of the Centre College in Kintampo in the Bono East Region, Joseph B. Y. Dery, has been apprehended by the internal security of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), in conjunction with the Kintampo Police Command.

Mr Dery was arrested based on allegations of defrauding the public through deceptive practices related to the West African Senior School Certificate Examination School Candidate (WASSCE (SC) 2024 registration and is assisting the Kintampo police with further investigation and legal proceedings.

Mr Dery, aged 52, who is the owner/Principal of Sprinkles of God SHS, Kintampo, once served as the Assistant Supervisor for the WASSCE (SC), 2019 at the Centre College.

Centre status
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Head of the Public Relations unit of the WAEC, John Kapi, said preliminary investigations by the security services revealed that on February 15, 2024, Mr Dery applied to the council for the inspection and granting of a centre status for WASSCE (SC), 2024 which was not granted due to late application.

He explained that while awaiting a response from the council, Mr Dery employed various platforms, including social media, and local and desperate and unsuspecting prospective examination candidates to register for the WASSCE(SC), 2024.

“Victims were misled by banners suggesting that the place was a registration centre for the WASSCE(SC) 2024,” Mr Kapi told the Daily Graphic. He said as part of his set-up, Mr Dery displayed a Dell laptop, a biometric device, an external hard drive and a modem.

“A white piece of cloth on a wall served as background for taking passport-size pictures and his mobile phone served as the camera. “Investigations, however, revealed that Mr Dery only allowed the victims to put their fingers on the biometric device but failed to capture their images or fingerprints as part of the registration process,” the WAEC PRO said.

Mr Kapi said it was further revealed that he charged his victims an amount of GH¢3,400 each and as of the time of his arrest, 34 victims had paid various amounts ranging from GH¢1,000 to GH¢3,400, as documented in his receipt book titled, “Admission and WASSCE Registration for WASSCE(SC), 2024.”

Mr Kapi said it was worth noting that as part of the dynamics in examination profiteering, dealers engaged in fictitious registration of candidates and during the period for the examinations, they blamed the WAEC for not capturing the details of those persons for the examination.

Caution to public
“We wish to reiterate our earlier admonition to parents, guardians and prospective candidates who are currently not in any school to desist from registering for the WASSCE (SC).

“The examination is meant for candidates who are in their final year in senior high school and so, any other category of persons who register for this examination are regarded as unqualified candidates,” the PRO cautioned the public.

Describing such schools as “banner schools”, he said the council believed that there were more of them that were luring and registering unsuspecting prospective examination candidates at exorbitant fees.

“These are not running schools. They are set up purposely to register candidates for the examination. “They put up banners with phone numbers and locations at which they can be reached and because they are not regular running schools, they are not in a position to produce credible continuous assessment records,” he explained.

He said the council was on the lookout for any person or persons engaged in such illegal act and if found out, would be handed over to the police. “The registration of candidates who are not in any regular school will be annulled if found out,” Mr Kapi emphasised.