The 70th Meeting of the Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), was held from Thursday, 10th to Saturday, 12th December, 2020 at WAEC Testing and Training Centre (WTTC), Ogba – Lagos.
The Committee, which is the highest decision-making organ of WAEC on examination-related matters in Nigeria, meets twice a year, to consider matters relating to the conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for School Candidates and Private Candidates. Its statutory Chairman is the Chief Government Nominee on Council and Director of Basic and Secondary Education in the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.
Membership of the Committee comprises four representatives each, of the State Ministries of Education and the Department of Education of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, ANCOPSS and the Universities. It also includes the Registrar to Council, Head of the Nigeria National Office, Head of the Test Development Division (TDD) and Head of the Test Administration Division (TAD) of the Council.
During the 70th Meeting, the Committee received reports on Irregularities, Special and Clemency Cases arising from the conduct of WASSCE for Private Candidates, 2019-Second Series and WASSCE for Private Candidates, 2020-First Series. The Committee also considered a report on the conduct of WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020, as well as Irregularity Cases arising from the conduct of the examination.
In the course of considering the various reported cases of malpractice, the Committee, after diligent deliberations, approved appropriate sanctions in all established cases of malpractice, as prescribed by the Rules and Regulations governing the conduct of the Councils examinations. It approved that the entire results of candidates involved in proven cases, which attracted Cancellation of Entire Results (CER), be cancelled, while subject results of those involved in proven cases, which attracted Cancellation of Subject Results (CSR), be similarly cancelled.
In addition, some candidates will also suffer other sanctions such as barring them from sitting for the Councils examinations for a certain number of years, some schools will be derecognised for a specified number of years or have their recognition completely withdrawn, some Supervisors that were found wanting in the discharge of their examination duties will be formally reported to their employers and blacklisted while some invigilators will also be reported to the appropriate authorities for disciplinary action.
The decisions of the Committee will be implemented without delay and the affected candidates and schools duly informed by the Council. However, the results of candidates who were exonerated by the Committee will be released.
Furthermore, the Committee considered Special Cases, Clemency Appeals from WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020 and Restitution Cases for various years.
The Committee also received a report on the Statistics of Entries and Results for WASSCE for Private Candidates, 2019-Second Series and WASSCE for Private Candidates, 2020-First Series. In addition, it received and considered the General Résumé of the Chief Examiners Reports on WASSCE for Private Candidates, 2020-First Series and WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020.
It also received and considered reports on the Activities of the Aptitude Tests Department (ATD), for the period March to October, 2020 and on the Activities of the Research Department of the Council for the period March to October, 2020.
With regard to the General Résumé of the Chief Examiners Reports on WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020, the Committee noted the observations by the Chief Examiners that the standard of the papers compared favourably with those of previous years and that the questions were within the scope of the syllabuses as well as the abilities of the candidates.
They also reported that the rubrics were devoid of ambiguity; the marking schemes were comprehensive, accommodating possible candidates responses and the marks distributions were equitably done.
The Committee noted the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates as reported by the Chief Examiners and the suggested remedies for the weaknesses.
It commended the Council for braving all odds to successfully conduct and release the results of WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also noted the decline in examination malpractice in the examination and called on WAEC to sustain the momentum in its fight against the menace. It, however, urged the Federal and State Ministries of Education to assist the Council in that regard through the monitoring and inspection of examination centres in their domain during the conduct of WASSCE.
The Committee noted with admiration the benefits of the Chief Examiners Report and appealed to Directors in the various State Ministries of Education, the All Confederation of Nigeria Principals of Secondary Schools and all relevant stakeholders to continue to sensitize their teachers on the efficacy of the Reports in the improvement of teaching and learning in schools.
Finally, the Committee commended President Buharis administration for approving the establishment of the National Secondary Schools Commission in 2019 to oversee the operations of secondary schools in Nigeria and asked that all hands must be on deck to ensure the successful take-off of the Commission which it sees as a veritable tool in the fight against examination malpractice.
Demianus Ojijeogu is the Acting Head, Public Affairs WAEC, Yaba, Lagos