…Introduces ICT-driven device to checkmate exam malpractice
BY DAYO ADESULU
ON Monday, August 11, the West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, released its May/June 2014 West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, results, where only 31.28 per cent obtained credits in five subjects and above, including English Language and Mathematics.
Also, it was disclosed that the result of 145,795 candidates, representing 8.61 per cent, are being withheld in connection with various types of examination malpractice, which were reported during the conduct and marking of the May/June 2014 WASSCE.
Against this backdrop, the Head of National Office, WAEC, Mr. Charles Eguridu stated that a number of innovations have been brought to the fore to checkmate examination malpractice.
One of such initiatives was the introduction of ICT-driven device. He said that the device which will enable supervisors and staff of the Council on duty to address and record in real time the processes on the day of the examination.
The HNO said: “With effect from the May/June 2014 WASSCE, the Council introduced a device known as Candidates Identity Verification, Attendance, Malpractice and Post Examinations Management System (CIVAMPEMS).
He explained that the device has the ability of identity verification, capturing and recording occurrences as they happen, such as candidatesf attendance and examination malpractice and transmit same to WAEC data base. gWith this, the Council is able to generate valid examination reports for each examination centre,h he said
Besides, Eguridu disclosed that the Council, beginning with the November/December 2014 WASSCE, in order to maintain uniformity, guard against malpractice and improve standards, has designed and introduced customised, transparent mathematical sets, with in-built non-programmable scientific calculators, which conform with the rules and regulations of its examinations
He said that with the provision of this, bringing in any other non-approved mathematical set or calculator into examination halls would not be allowed any more.
Moreover, he pointed out that the Council, with effect from 2014 WASSCE, is introducing a biometric enabled certificates adding, “each certificate will have a QR code with details of the candidatefs biometric features and actual grades encrypted.
The question begging for answer is; will the introduction of these devices curb examination malpractice and propel students to read?
Although, there were steady declined in students performance since 2012, the HNO debunked insinuations from stakeholders in the sector that Nigerian students are not brilliant.
He said, “Considering the whole West Africa Examination results, Nigerian students did well in Mathematics than any other subjects.
According to the HNO, one of the reasons for the decline in students performance could be the introduction of the new subjects. Eguridu noted, “The Council was able to examined candidates in 39 new subjects mostly entrepreneurial, in addition to the existing 37 subjects. He averred that task was in line with the new secondary school curriculum earlier endorsed by the National Council on Education NCE, the highest policy making organ on education in Nigeria.
Thus in 2012 and 2013 May/June WASSCE diets, there was marginal decline in the performance of candidates as 38: 81 per cent was recorded in 2012 and 36.57 per cent in 2013.
Therefore, if the major issue affecting the performance of students in their examination is over crowded subjects, the Council could look for a way of amending it.
It has been discovered by stakeholders that students have devoted most of their time to social media instead of reading their books. More worrisome is the abrevation students use in writing text messages, chatting and pinging which they have brought into answering their examination questions. That suggest why our students do well in Mathematics but performs badly in English Language.
According to him, out of 1,692,435 candidates that sat for the examination, 791,227 candidates, representing 46.75%, obtained 6 credits and above, just as a total of 982,472 candidates representing 58.05%, obtained 5 credits and above.
In addition, he stated that 1,148,262 candidates, representing 67.84 %, obtained credits and above in 4 subjects, while 1,293,389 candidates, representing 76.42%, obtained credits and above in 3 subjects.
For blind candidates, Eguridu pointed out that of the 161 blind candidates registered for the examination, 21 candidates, representing 14 per cent obtained credits in five (5) subjects, including English language.