By Okee Sydney-Obiukwu & Hanson Chidozie, in Lagos
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says it is persuaded that the additional diet of the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) which it has approved to commence next year, would help reduce the incidences of examination malpractice that has been on the increase in recent times.
Mr. Olu Adenipekun, the council’s Head of Office in Nigeria, made the disclosure at the formal unveiling of the expanded examination framework in its Ikeja office, Lagos, yesterday.
“You will recall that on the 13th of April this year, the Registrar to Council at a press briefing held at the WAEC International Office, Lagos informed the nation that council had given its approval for the conduct of an additional diet of the WASSCE for private candidates, beginning from 2018.” Olanipekun reminded stakeholders present at the occasion.
He said that the conduct of an additional diet of the WASSCE for private candidates became necessary because the WASSCE for school candidates is written first every year and the results are released before the conduct of the WASSCE for private candidates. Therefore, he argued; school candidates who wish to retake the examination usually have the opportunity of doing so with the private candidates’ examination.
He further Stated that, “with growing concern among stakeholders over what they perceive as discrimination or denial of equal opportunity against private candidates, there has been a deluge of agitation, criticism and appeal across the West African Sub-region for council to find a way of reducing the agony of long waiting experienced by the private candidates who desire another shot at WASSCE.
“This situation is often cited as being responsible for the level of desperation oftentimes displayed by the perpetrators of examination malpractice at the private candidates’ examination centers. The council have also observed with chagrin the penchant by external candidates to register for the WASSCE for School candidates which has led to an astronomical increase in examination cheats being caught during the conduct of the examination,” he posited.
Olanipekun said it was for this reason that the Governing Board of WAEC, after thorough deliberations on the issue, had decided to approve that national offices of the council should commence the conduct of one additional diet every year of the WASSCE for private candidates.
“I am delighted to inform you that preparations for the conduct of the WASSCE for private candidates, 2018 – First Series are in full gear and all hands are on deck to ensure that a remarkable success is recorded during the conduct of the examination.
“The flagging off of this diet is starting with Nigeria, however, the remaining member countries of WAEC have indicated their readiness to follow suit,” he explained.
He also hinted that the first Series of the WASSCE for private candidates, 2018 will be an urban based examination and candidates will be examined in 19 subjects. He also advised every intending candidate to visit the council’s corporate website, before obtaining the registration PIN.
In her remark, the representative of Lagos State’s Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Olubunmi Bada Said she was delighted with initiative of WAEC in introducing the second diet, to create a second chance for the candidates.
She expressed confidence that the additional diet will maintain the tradition of excellence and transparency for which WAEC has been known over the years.