By Gabriel Dike, Lagos
Only 39.82 per cent of candidates out of 61,509 that sat for West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for private candidates 2020, second series, obtained five credits, which include English Language and Mathematics.
Announcing the release of results of WASSCE for private candidates 2020, second series, Head of Nigeria National Office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Mr Patrick Areghan, said 66,375 candidates registered for the exam and that 61,509 sat for the exam.
The HNO further disclosed that registration for the May/June 2021 WASSCE has started and explained that the exercise is starting late because of the COVID-19 pandemic which disrupted academic calendar of schools nationwide.
Areghan said the total number of candidates, represent 31.63 per cent decline, when compared with the 2019 entry figure and that the exam was conducted at 540 centres spread across the nooks and crannies of the country, adding ”the drop in the entry figure could be attributed to the negative impact of the COVID –19 pandemic.”
He said of the 61,509 candidates that sat the examination, 30,507 were males while 31,002 were females, representing 49.60 per cent and 50.40 per cent, respectively.
Areghan said out of the number of candidates that sat the examination, 61,111 candidates, representing 99.35 per cent have their results fully processed and released while 398 candidates, representing 0.65 per cent have a few of their subjects still being processed due to some errors on the part of the candidates.
The HNO explained that ‘efforts are, being made to speedily complete the processing to enable the affected candidates to get their results fully processed and released, subsequently.
The WAEC boss explained that 31,751 candidates representing 51.62 per cent obtained credit and above in a minimum of five subjects (with or without English Language and/or Mathematics; out of which 15,376 were males and 16,375 were females, representing 48.43 per cent and 51.57 per cent respectively.
According to him, 24, 491 candidates representing 39.82 per cent obtained credit and above in a minimum of five subjects including English Language and Mathematics.
He said the percentage of candidates in this category in the WASSCE for private candidates, 2018 and 2019, that is, those who obtained credit and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, were 35.99 per cent and 35.10 per cent, respectively. Thus, there is a marginal increase of 4.72 per cent in performance in this regard.
‘Let me say that the number of candidates that had five credits, including English Language and Mathematics, may not necessarily be a basis for judging the level of performance in this examination. This is because the examination is more or less a remedial one. Some candidates may just need only one or two papers, other than English Language and /or Mathematics, to remedy their admission deficiencies,’ he said.
‘The results of 5,548 candidates, representing 9.02 per cent of the number of candidates that sat the examination, are being withheld in connection with various reported cases of examination malpractice. The cases are being investigated and reports of the investigations will be presented to the appropriate committee of the council for determination in due course. The committee’s decisions will be communicated directly to the affected candidates thereafter.’
Areghan reminded candidates that collection of certificates for WASSCE for private candidates would be based on requests online, via the Electronic Certificate Management System platform.
He revealed that the examination was simultaneously and conducted throughout the five-member countries of WAEC – Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, using one and the same International Timetable.
‘The conduct of the examination took place between Monday, November 23rd, 2020 and Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020. Coordination of examiners and marking of candidates’ scripts were carried out at ten selected marking venues across the country in January. A total of 3,234 examiners participated in the coordination and marking exercise.
‘The WASSCE for private candidates, 2020 second series, was conducted under strict COVID-19 protocols. We are happy to report that throughout the conduct of the examination, there was no reported case of any candidate, invigilator, supervisor, WAEC staff or any examination functionary, for that matter, going down with the dreaded Coronavirus disease.’
Areghan expressed gratitude to the Federal Government, for creating the enabling environment for WAEC to conduct the examination, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also want to thank the Minister of Education, Minister of State for Education and the various state governments, for their continued assistance and co-operation with WAEC in the execution of its mandate.