By Gabriel Dike
The Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has decided the fate of 214,952 candidates whose results were withheld for alleged examination malpractice in the 2017 school exam.
The 214,952 candidates represent 13.79 per cent of 1,559,162 million candidates who sat for the May/June 2017 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The committee, which meets twice a year, to consider matters related to the conduct of the May/June and Nov/Dec WASSCE, is the highest policy-making organ of WAEC on examination-related issues in Nigeria. Its statutory chairman is the Director (Basic and Secondary Education), Federal Ministry of Education and chief federal government nominee on council.
Other members of NEC includes representatives of state Ministries of Education, the All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), universities, Registrar to council, Head of the Nigeria National Office, Head of the Test Development Division (TDD) and the Head of the Test Administration Division (TAD).
The Head of WAEC Nigeria National Office (HNO), Mr. Olu Adenipekun on July 17 while announcing the release of the results said: “The results of 214,952 candidates, representing 13.79 per cent of the total candidature for the examination were withheld in connection with cases of examination malpractice.
“The cases are under investigattion and reports of the investigations will be presented to the appropriate committee of the council in due course for consideration. The committee’s decisions will be communicated to the affected candidates through their schools.”
The conclusion of the NEC meeting brightened the chances of an early release of the cleared results, which some of the candidates require to enhance their admission chances into tertiary institutions for the 2017/2018 academic session.
Some of the candidates wrote the University Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) as awaiting results candidates and need the withheld results to process their admission.
Investigations by The Education Report revealed that since the May/June 2017 WASSCE result was released in July, many of the candidates whose results were withheld have besieged WAEC offices including the headquarters at Yaba to know their fate.
At the end of the 64th NEC meeting in Lagos, the committee took decisions but details of the resolutions as regards sanctions to candidates, supervisors, invigilators, schools and even WAEC staff have not been made public.
The communiqué signed by the acting Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Demianus Ojijeogu, disclosed that the committee received a report on irregularity, special and clemency cases arising from the conduct of the WASSCE for private candidates, 2016, earlier considered at the 63rd meeting of NEC.
According to him, the committee also considered a report on the conduct of May/June 2017 WASSCE as well as irregularity cases arising from the conduct of the school examination.
It noted that: “In the course of considering the 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 council’s examinations.
“It approved that the entire results of candidates involved in proven cases, which attract cancellation of Entire Results (CER) be cancelled, while subject results of those involved in proven cases, which attract 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 council’s examinations for a certain number of years, while some schools will have WAEC recognition withdrawn or de-recognized for a specified number of years.
“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.’’
The committee noted the recurring cases of returned certificates, where candidates willingly made confessional statements that they were impersonated in various examinations and agreed that apart from the National Universities Commission (NUC), the details of such candidates (examination numbers, certificate numbers and years of examination) should be made available to the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE); posted on the council’s corporate website and published in national dailies twice a year.”