The waiting game is over for 180,205 candidates whose May/June 2019 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results were withheld four months ago by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for alleged examination malpractice.
The Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) of WAEC which met early this month has decided the fate of 180,205 candidates. According to WAEC, the 180,205 candidates represent 11.33 percent out of 1,596,161 candidates who sat for the May/June 2019 WASSCE.
The Education Report gathered that the 68th meeting of NEC which was held in Lagos took far-reaching decisions on numerous pending cases.
The NEC, which meets two times in a year to consider cases related to the conduct of the May/June and Nov/Dec WASSCE, is the highest policy-making organ of WAEC on examination matters in the country. The statutory chairman is the Director of Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.
Members of NEC includes four representatives each from the state ministries of education and the department of education, Federal Capital Territory, ANCOPSS and the universities, Registrar to council, the Head of Nigeria National Office, Head of Test Development Division (TDD) and the Head of the Test Administration Division (TAD) of the council.
The Head of Nigeria National Office (HNO), Mr. Olu Adenipekun in July while releasing the result of the May/June 2019 WASSCE disclosed that the results of 180,205 candidates, representing 11.33 percent of the total number of candidates were withheld for alleged exam fraud.
Adenipekun explained that the cases were being investigated and the reports of the finding would be presented to the appropriate committee of the council in due course. The HNO stressed that the decisions of NEC will be communicated to the affected candidates through their various schools.
NEC resolutions signed by the acting Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Demianus Ojijeogu, said the committee received reports on irregularity, special and clemency cases from the conduct of the WASSCE for private candidates, 2018-second series and the WASSCE for private candidates, 2019-first series, earlier considered at the 67th meeting of NEC.
The committee also considered a report on the conduct of the WASSCE for school candidates in 2019, as well as irregularity cases from the conduct of the examination.
‘’In the course of considering the various reported cases of malpractice, the committee 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, some schools were derecognised for a specified number of years, some supervisors that were found wanting in the discharge of their examination duties will be formally reported to their employers and blacklisted while some invigilators will also be reported to the appropriate authorities for disciplinary action.
The decisions of NEC will be implemented without delay and the affected candidates and schools will be informed by the council. However, the results of candidates who were exonerated by the committee will be released.
The decision of NEC brightened the chances of many candidates who require the results for the ongoing 2019/2020 admission exercise into universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.
Before the release of the May/June 2019 WASSCE, about 1,112,589 million candidates wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as awaiting results candidates and were mainly SSS3 students. They were expected to upload the results into the JAMB portal to be considered for admission.
The Education Report learnt that many of the affected candidates after the release of WASSCE results continued to besieged WAEC offices nationwide to know when NEC would consider their cases.
Breakdown of released and withheld/cancelled results, sanctions meted out to some candidates, exam supervisors and invigilators, schools as well as WAEC staff indicted were not made public.
During the release of results for WASSCE 2019 private candidates’ second series last week, the HNO confirmed that NEC took decisions on the 180,205 withheld results and the recommendations are being implemented.
Adenipekun did not give details of the decisions taken but acknowledged that NEC recommended the release of results for some candidates, cancellation of results for those found wanting, further investigations for others and sanctions on supervisors, invigilators, and schools that aided and abetted examination malpractice.
On supervisors, invigilators and schools found wanting, he said it is the responsibility of the affected state ministries of education to implement the sanctions recommended by NEC.
Since July when two subjects of her son’s May/June 2019 WASSCE were withheld, Mrs. Felicia Nduka, who had visited his school thrice and WAEC headquarters in Yaba confirmed the release of the two subjects (Mathematics and CRK).
“I am excited that WAEC released the two subjects. I was initially worried because my son needed the two subjects to process his admission at Imo State University. Because of my fear, I had to register him for the WASSCE 2019 private candidates,” she explained.
For Mr. Ikechukwu (surname withheld) when the withheld result of his son was released after the NEC meeting, he made 9 As and he was delighted about the decision and his performance.