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Minority calls for probe into GH¢68.5m expenditure on WASSCE 'pasco' Photocopying

The Minority in Parliament has raised concerns over the alleged misappropriation of GH¢68.5 million in funds purportedly spent on photocopying past questions for West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) candidates in 2020 and 2021.

Minority calls for probe into GH¢68.5m expenditure on WASSCE 'pasco' Photocopying

The Ministry of Education is under fire for allegedly incurring costs of GH¢33.6 million in 2020 and over GH¢34 million in 2021, both through single-source procurement.

The Ashaiman Member of Parliament, Ernest Norgbey, representing the Minority, addressed the media regarding the issue, calling for a comprehensive investigation by the Special Prosecutor. Norgbey described the expenditure as potential corruption and emphasized the need for accountability. He expressed disbelief over the purported cost of photocopying, stating, "A photocopy to cost GH¢78 per paper, GH¢59.10 per paper, totalling GH¢68.5 million, what are we doing?" The Minority caucus contends that this expenditure warrants scrutiny and action.

In response to the allegations, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, defended the government's actions during a parliamentary session on Monday, March 4. Adutwum disclosed that the funds were used to procure past questions from Messrs Kingdom Books and Stationery at a unit price of GH¢78.00 per paper during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The minister emphasized the government's commitment to supporting final-year Senior High School students by providing necessary resources for exam preparation.

According to Adutwum, in 2020, the government procured 568,755 past questions to aid students amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic. Similarly, for the 2021 WASSCE, a total of 446,954 past questions were procured to assist students in their preparations.

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The Minister's explanation has not fully assuaged concerns raised by the Minority, who continue to demand a thorough investigation into the matter. They assert that transparency and accountability must be upheld, especially regarding the management of public funds.

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