The tenure of the Registrar of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Iyi Uwadiae, will end on 30th September, 2019 closing his seven year stint in that capacity.
The University of Benin alumnus held a valedictory interaction with journalists on Wednesday, 18th September via teleconferencing from the WAEC headquarters in Accra, Ghana.
Proceedings of the parley were also monitored from the WAEC offices in Lagos, Nigeria and Banjul, the Gambia where the video conferencing facilities were equally available.
Mr Uwadiae said he was leaving the revered office better than he met it and whatever is left would be continued by his successor.
Uwadiae did not however mention who the successor was stating that although the person had been appointed, they would only be officially announced later.
The WAEC chief who previously headed the WAEC Nigeria office admitted that the role as registrar was demanding but he had no regrets serving the examination body over the years.
EduCeleb.com reports that Uwadiae started his career as an Assistant Registrar in November 1985 and rose through the ranks to become Deputy Registrar in 2003 and later Head of Nigeria Office of the Council in 2008.
He succeeded Mrs Mulikat Bello, another Nigerian, to become the 12th WAEC Registrar in October 2012 for a five year tenure. That was extended by two years on contract by the Council.
Uwadiae said his tenure thrived on strengthening the examinations body by collaborating with stakeholders across the West African subregion.
Among landmark improvements are the expansion of the scope covered by WAEC within and beyond its member-countries.
“The Council’s efforts at making inroads into the neighbouring non-WAEC member countries like the Republic of Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and Mali paid off, as more schools and candidates in those countries were attracted to the Council’s examination,” he stated.
At the same time, new examination diets of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) were introduced in addition to allowing private candidates to walk in and register to write the exam when it had commenced.
The digital administration of examinations also progressed under Uwadiae who revealed that WAEC now owns CBT centres and had developed e-marking software and equipment to improve its work.
Also, improved technology was being deployed in the identification of candidates, capturing of data and detection of irregularities at examination centres.
It is almost certainly common that WAEC conducted examination questions leak every year.
In its bid to combat incidents of questions leaking, the Registrar said his leadership resorted to self-reliance in its printing services.
Rather than contracting out the printing of questions, he said WAEC across its member-nations is close to achieving the ownership of an in-house printing press.
Noting that leadership at WAEC was a continuum, he revealed that his administration completed the construction and furnishing of various permanent sites of its offices and the purchase of land in other cases.
WAEC Ghana now has a hotel facility in Accra in addition to a WAEC-owned residential accommodation for “deserving categories of expatriate and Ghanaian staff of the Headquarters.”
Also, areas of staff welfarism, the introduction of Attestation of Results as a replacement for missing original certificates and the reduction of the time for processing WASSCE results from 84 to within 45 days were highlighted achievements.
While noting that there was still much to be done in terms of providing better facilities and improving the payment system for examiners, he stated that the Council could only give what it had.
He, therefore, urged member countries to always meet their financial and technical commitments to the Council so that further improvements will be made.