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2023 WASSCE: WAEC harps on safety, warns candidates, other stakeholders against exam malpractices

*The West African Examinations Council assures exam candidates of adequate measures for their safety, and warns parents and guardians as well as other stakeholders against encouraging their wards engaging in any form of examination malpractices

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has assured exam candidates of adequate measures for their safety, as the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for school candidates beging from Monday, May 8, 2023.

ConsumerConnect reports Mr. Patrick Areghan, WAEC Head of National Office (HNO), gave the assurance Thursday, May 4 2023, in Lagos, during an interactive session with reporters on the examination body’s level of preparations ahead the examinations nationwide.

Areghan restated the examinations had been scheduled for Monday May 8 to Friday, June 23.

According to the HNO, WAEC could not feign ignorance of the relatively high level of insecurity in the country.

He also noted that conducting examinations under such a situation has been a daunting task in the country.

Security measures in place

There are several flashpoints all over the country, and conducting examinations in such areas requires extra security arrangement, said he.

Areghan stated: “Consequently, we are liaising with the Inspector General of Police, Brigade Commanders, other security agencies and the various state governments to provide security.

“This is in order to ensure that the examination is conducted under a secure and safe environment.”

He as well disclosed the public examination body had also “sought the intervention of the Minister of Education in this respect.

“Similarly, our zonal and branch offices have reached out to various security outfits in their respective locations for assistance.

“Courtesy visits and other forms of appeals have been made and we have been assured of full cooperation of the security agencies to this effect.”

The WAEC HMO further said: “If and when the need arises, schools in insecurity-prone areas would be relocated to safe havens, with the full approval, cooperation and participation of the Federal or State Government concerned.”

Analysis of exam candidates

According to Areghan, a total of 1,621,853 candidates from 20,851 secondary schools across the country had  registered for the examinations.

The Head of National Office explained that of this number, 798,810 are male, representing 49.25 percent, while 823,043 are female, representing 50.75 percent.

He also disclosed on the whole, the candidature for the 2023 WASSCE (School Candidate) increased by 13, 868 over the figure of 2022, which was 1,607,985, for the same diet.

For the second time in succession, Areghan noted, the Council had successfully reverted to the May/June period of the year for the conduct of the examinations, describing development as “remarkable”.

He stated the significance of this landmark is that  WAEC and the various member States across the West African sub-region, except Ghana, have again found a common ground in respect of their academic calendars.

“This shows a massive recovery from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our sincere gratitude goes to the minister of Education and his ministry for this memorable achievement and to the registrar to council, for his untiring efforts,” he said.

Application of ICT tools in exam process

Areghan as well mentioned the Nigeria Council had established a  “Self-Service” system for candidates, through the CHATBOT Platform.

He stated this is to enable them to access their entries, which in most cases the schools do not allow them to see, contrary to instructions.

The candidate Self-Service is a service on the Request Management System/Chatbot ( that allows students to confirm data uploaded for them by schools in order to make necessary corrections (if any)on such, he explained.

The tool provided two key services on the Request Management System — Confirmation of Entry/Registration and Confirmation of Continuous Assessment Score (CASS), among others.

In connection with the use of National Identification Number (NIN) as prerequisite for registration for examinations, the WAEC Chief affirmed though not compulsory, the NIN is made a component of the registration requirements.

He said: “The policy came into being in line with the directive of the Federal Government.

“Candidates were expected to supply their NIN at the registration stage, but it was not a compulsory requirement.

“This is in order to avoid denying many eligible candidates access to the portal/examination.”

Areghan added: “Even after the registration exercise, candidates were still allowed to submit their NIN for upload.

“Therefore, no candidate was disqualified from registration as a result of non-submission of NIN at the beginning of the exercise, or even later.”

WAEC, however, frowned on deliberate efforts by some private school owners disregarding the registration deadline.

This procedural infraction development has been a huge challenge to the entire examination procedure, he stated.

Warning against examination malpractices

The HNO said: “I call on parents and guardians to encourage their wards to study diligently and desist from engaging in any form of examination malpractice.

“The media must play its watchdog role too. The various ministries of education should call their principals, teachers and other officials serving as inspectors and/or supervisors, to order.”

Areghan further said: “Supervisors should desist from allowing candidates to make use of their cell phones, or availing the candidates of their own (supervisors’) cell phones

“Any form of aiding and abetting or collusion, should be avoided.

“Every candidate and examination functionary must play by the rules, which are well stipulated in the WAEC Syllabus and Guidelines for the conduct of examinations, issued to schools.

“Erring schools will be derecognised, erring officials adequately punished, while erring candidates would lose their results.”

He, therefore, assured candidates that in line with Council’s usual practice, the results of candidates sitting the examinations would be released 45 days after the conduct of the last paper.

The certificates will be printed and issued to schools in less than 90 days after the release of results, said he.

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