By Levinus Nwabughiogu, Abuja
Worried by reports of incessant leakages of examinations papers and outright cancellation, the House of Representatives, yesterday, resolved to investigate the West African Examinations Council, WAEC to avoid financial wastages.
By way of proffering solution to the leakages, the House also urged the council to establish more rigorous standards for the administration, monitoring, supervision and evaluation of O’ Level examinations in Nigeria.
It, therefore, mandated its Committee on Basic Education and Services to carry out the assignment.
The resolutions followed the consideration of a motion entitled: “Need to Investigate Chronic Leakage of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) Questions and Incessant Cancellation by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Nigeria,” moved at the plenary by Benjamin Okezie Kalu (APC, Abia).
Presenting the motion, Kalu noted that WAEC was the body responsible for the administration, monitoring, supervision, and evaluation of the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in Nigeria.
Noting that WASSCE was the foremost O’ Level examination in Nigeria, which is usually taken by over 1.5 million candidates every year, the lawmaker recalled that a series of cancellations had been done by the examination body recently which he said would amount to financial wastages.
He said: “On September 15, 2021, in a notice issued by its Public Affairs Department, WAEC cancelled Physics 2 & 1 and Business Management 2 & 1 examinations, which were originally scheduled for Wednesday, September 15, 2021, citing leakage of some examination papers on social media as a reason for the cancellation.
“WAEC had, at several times in the past, cancelled examinations for similar reasons including the cancellation of Literature in English papers taken by private candidates in 2021.
“The reasons do not warrant cancellation of an examination of such magnitude and such repeated cancellations are indicative of ineptitude on the part of the examining body.
“WAEC spends over N1.5 billion annually to conduct the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations and according to Areghan Patrick, Head of WAEC National Office in Nigeria, the organisation was operating at a deficit of N7 billion.
“The cancellation and subsequent rescheduling of exams by WAEC results in wastage and incurs avoidable expenses to the country which is already burdened with debts.”
Kalu also expressed concern that according to the Global Youth Development Index, Nigeria currently ranks 161 out of 181 countries in youth education and employment.
“If urgent action is not taken to check the inefficiencies of WAEC, improve the security of O’Level examinations and ultimately put an end to the incessant cancellation of exams, Nigeria’s education system will further deteriorate.”
Adopting the motion, the House gave the committee four weeks to conclude the assignment and report back to it for further legislative action.