By Dayo Adesulu
FOR years, concerned stakeholders in the sector have consistently queried the steady decline in performance of candidates that sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Many blamed students, teachers, parents, schools and WAEC. However, since 2015, there appears to have been steady improvements in candidates’ performances, as many candidates had scored five credits and above in English Language and Mathematics, which are the basic prerequisites for university admission.
WASSCE results in the past three years revealed an upward direction in the percentage of performances of candidates. In 2014, 31.28 per cent of the candidates scored five credits and above. In 2015, the performance was 38.68 per cent, while in 2016, it jumped to 52.97 per cent. In 2017, performance rose to 59.22 per cent, the highest in a decade. The Head, National Office (HNO), Nigeria, of the West African Examinations Council, Mr. Olu Adenipekun, listed some factors that led to the significant improvements in the results.
He said that when WAEC Nigeria, hosted the 65th Annual Council Meeting in Abuja from March 20 to 24, 2017, WAEC’s highest policy-making organ, which consists of 32 members, reviewed the Council’s policies and operations.
According to him, in a bid to further engage candidates and bridge the communication gap between them and WAEC, the Council in Nigeria on May 4, 2017 via a public/private partnership arrangement, launched an electronic information sharing and dissemination platform, called Candidates Interactive System (CIS) or WAECKONNECT.
He said it was a talk back portal designed to allow the Council interact with candidates for the WASSCE diets before, during and after the examination.
While stressing the importance of this interactive medium between WAEC and candidates, he urged registered candidates for different diets of WASSCE to avail themselves of the immense opportunities the platform is capable of providing.
He noted that, with the upgrade of the Council’s ICT facilities, particularly, the recently commissioned HP Converged System – a Private Cloud, the capability of the Council’s ICT has now been enhanced. According to him, with the progressive review of the processes and procedures backed by the determination of the entire work force of the Council in Nigeria to serve the Nigerian child better and faster, the early release of results of the WASSCE for 2017 was made possible.
The HNO said that one of the major highlights of the meeting was the approval granted to member countries to conduct WASSCE for Private Candidates, twice in a year. “The Nigeria National Office of the Council has concluded arrangements to commence the conduct of the additional diet of the WASSCE for Private Candidates from January/February, 2018,” he said. You will recall that WAEC on Monday released the May/June WASSCE results, withholding results of 13.79 per cent candidates as 59.22 per cent passed English Language and Mathematics.
Speaking at a press briefing held at its corporate office, Yaba, Lagos, Adenipekun said the performance recorded this year improved over the 2015 and 2016 WASSCE results. Justifying the relative success of candidates in 2017, Adenipekun noted that the percentage pass of WASSCE results for school candidates in 2015 and 2016 were 38.68 per cent and 52.97 per cent, respectively.
He said: “A total of 923,486 (Nine hundred and twenty- three thousand, four hundred and eighty-six) candidates, representing 59.22 per cent, obtained minimum of credits in five subjects and above, including English Language and Mathematics.”
According to him, the results of 214,952 (Two hundred and fourteen thousand, nine hundred and fifty-two) candidates, representing 13.79 per cent of the total candidature for the examination are being withheld in connection with various reported cases of examination malpractice.
He explained that the cases of examination malpractice are being investigated, adding that reports of the investigations will be presented to the appropriate committee of the Council in due course for consideration. He disclosed that a total of 1,559,162 (One million, five hundred and fifty-nine thousand, one hundred and sixty-two) candidates sat for the examination.
He said: “Out of the total number of candidates that sat for the examination, 1,471,151 (One million, four hundred and seventy-one thousand, one hundred and fifty-one) candidates, representing 94.36 per cent have their results fully processed and released, while 95,734 (Ninety-five thousand, seven hundred and thirty-four) candidates, representing 5.64 per cent have a few of their subjects still being processed due to errors traceable to the candidates in the course of registration or writing the examination. Such errors are being corrected by the Council to enable the affected candidates get their results fully processed and released subsequently.”
In the analysis of the results, he said: “Of the total number of candidates that sat for the examination, 1,490,356 (one million, four hundred and ninety thousand, three hundred and fifty-six) candidates, representing 95.59 per cent obtained credits and above in two subjects. 1,436,024 (one million, four hundred and thirty-six thousand, twenty-four) candidates, representing 92.44 per cent obtained credits and above in three subjects.
Correction of errors
“1,357,193 (one million, three hundred and fifty-seven thousand, one hundred and ninety-three) candidates, representing 87.05 per cent obtained credits and above in four subjects. 1,243,772 (one million, two hundred and forty-three thousand, seven hundred and seventy-two) candidates, representing 79.77 per cent obtained credits and above in five subjects.
1,084,214 (one million, eighty-four thousand, two hundred and fourteen) candidates, representing 69.54 per cent obtained credits and above in six subjects.”
He urged candidates who sat for the examination to check details of their performance on the Council’s results website: www.waecdirect.org. “The result checker PIN and Serial Number are contained on the flip side of the candidates CIVAMPENS Card issued to all candidates by WAEC, and used by them during the conduct of the examination,” he added.