By Gabriel Dike, Lagos
Results of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for private candidates, 2021 first series, were released Tuesday, with only 30 per cent of candidates obtaining five credits, including English Language and Mathematics.
The Head of Nigeria National Office (HNO) of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Mr Patrick Areghan, said the percentage of private candidates in 2019 and 2020 that obtained credits and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, were 26.08 per cent and 32.23 per cent, respectively.
The HNO said there is a marginal decrease of 2.12 per cent in the performance of candidates for 2019 and 2020 compared to WASSCE 2021. According to him, of the 7,289 candidates that sat for the examination, 3,593 were males and 3,696 females, representing 49.29 per cent and 50.71 per cent, respectively.
He disclosed that the May/June 2021 WASSCE will not hold on the usual date of May because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted the academic calendar of schools nationwide.
Areghan explained that 7,174 candidates, representing 98.42 per cent, have their results fully processed and released while 115 candidates, representing 1.58 per cent, have a few of their subjects still being processed due to some errors on the part of the candidates, adding that ‘efforts are, however, being made to speedily complete the processing to enable all the affected candidates get their results fully processed and released subsequently.’
He said the analysis of the statistics of the performance of candidates showed that out of the 7,289 candidates that sat for the exam, 2,938 candidates, representing 40.31 per cent, obtained credit and above in a minimum of any five subjects (with or without English Language and/or Mathematics), out of which 1,396 were male and 1,542 were female candidates, representing 47.52 per cent and 52.48 per cent, respectively.
The WAEC head revealed that 2,195 candidates, representing 30.11 per cent, obtained credits and above in a minimum of five (5) subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.
”Of this number, 1,074 (48.93 per cent) were male candidates, while 1,121 (51.07) were female candidates. The percentage of candidates in this category in the WASSCE for private candidates, 2019 and 2020, that is, those who obtained credit and above in a minimum of five (5) subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, were 26.08 per cent and 32.23 per cent, respectively,’ he explained.
”Let me say here 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,’ Areghan noted.
He stated that results of 599 candidates, representing 8.22 per cent of the number of candidates that sat for 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 in due course. This low number is as a result of the rigorous monitoring/inspection of centres embarked upon by the council’s staff throughout the duration of the examination.’
Areghan directed candidates who sat for the examination to check the details of their performance on the council’s results website: www.waecdirect.org. He said the Result Checker PIN and Serial Number needed by candidates to check their results online are contained on the candidate’s Smart Identity Card used during the conduct of the examination.
The HNO explained that the conduct of the examination took place between February 15 and March 11, while coordination of examiners and marking of candidates’ scripts were carried out at three selected marking venues across the country from March 17 to 27, with a total of 431 examiners participating in the coordination and marking exercise.
He also dispelled rumours regarding the conduct of the May/June 2021 WASSCE, stating that ‘the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still very much felt in the education sector. The academic calendar has been distorted.
‘It will, therefore, not be possible to have the examination in May/June this year. A convenient International Timetable for the conduct of the examination will soon be released. All stakeholders are requested to keep their fingers crossed until they hear from WAEC.’
The WAEC head also used the medium to appeal to school principals and proprietors to keep to the stipulated timelines for the enrolment of candidates for the examination, noting that ‘it is important to re-emphasise the role of Continuous Assessment Scores (CASS) in the computation of candidates’ results. All schools are advised to get this aspect of the registration process right in order to make the entry processes seamless.’