Contrary to the public outcry that the results of the 2010 West African Senior School organizers of the exam West African Examinations Council (WAEC) is insisting that there is no cause for alarm.
According to Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, WAEC (HNO) Head of the National Office ,people normally looks at the quality results which are the high scores rather than the overall result and the potential of each result .As he put it, the fact that a person secured only two or three credits in the exam does not imply that the person failed because given the nature of the exam, such fellow might have secured several other credit passes at different time and only needed those two or three credit passes to qualify for university admission.
Making a comparative analysis of the results between 2008 and 2010, he stated that it have been fluctuating. In the year 2008, 23.54% passed the exam including English and Mathematics. In 2009, the figure went up to 31.96 per cent, and in 2010, it crashed to 20. 04 per cent.
"It is still within the same bracket of not too good," Uwadiae emphasised.
He added that a total of 344, 398 candidates registered for the 2010 November/December WASSCE but only 310,000 candidates sat for the exam, an indication that the missing 34, 399 candidates might have deliberately withdrawn from the exam, having obtained the required credit passes from some other sources.
On mass failure, he stated that WAEC has the mandate to conduct exams but always goes beyond this mandate to suggest ways and modalities for improving performance in public examinations. That is why the National office organses monthly seminars free -of -charge for teachers and invite resource persons from universities to exchange ideas. The seminars are usually focused on how to improve teaching and learning in schools.
Secondly, after every exam, WAEC compiles what is called Chief Examiners reports which harps on weaknesses and strengths of candidates.
Teachers, he said, are always encouraged to carefully study these reports by Chief Examiners. Every school has two copies and are free to get more than that.
His words: "WAEC are not teachers. We can't go into the class rooms and start teaching students on how to pass exams. We can only make suggestions to schools and teachers based on ourr experiences with candidates. lt is left for the various schools and teachers to guide their students accordingly.
"Most of the states today are making impressive efforts to seal all those loopholes responsible for mass failure of candidates in WAEC exams by providing the necessary teaching and learning facilities, ensuring that teachers are not only qualified but efficient and enthusiastic about their job and some states even go a step further by paying the WASSCE registration fees of candidates from their state. Within the next few years, those great investments wills tart yielding abundant result.
Dr. Uwadiae disclosed that the Honourable Minister for Education also held a press briefing recently to highlight what her ministry is doing to facilitate quality teaching and learning.
The 2010 WASSCE results was released two weeks ahead of schedule but could not be released 100 per cent. The reason was that about 4% of the results has not been fully processed not due to any faultt by WAEC but because of certain errors and oversights by the candidates.
Champion Scholar gathered that such results are not part of those that were cancelled and that WAEC is going through them manually to try to salvage the situation.
In the course of considering the various reported cases of malpractice during the conduct of the may/June 2010 WASSCE, said Uwadiae, the Committee, as always strongly expressed deep concern at the rife incidence of malpractice in examinations in Nigeria and wondered how the nation had got to this sorry situation. The Committee observed that all sectors of national life, not only the education sector, were malpractice ridden as a result of the collapse of the nation's value system and strongly noted that there was a very urgent need for the re-engineering of the nation's value system.
"The committee, once again, also decried the dearth of qualified teachers, inadequate and dilapidated classrooms, inadequate teaching aids and other facilities in most of the secondary schools in the country and passionately appealed to all Governments (Federal and State), and other stakeholders and indeed proprietors of private schools to address the situation urgently. The Committee also appealed for substantial improvement in the funding of the education sector in order to improve the quality of education in the country and subsequently of performance in public examinations'