The West African Examination Council (WAEC) on Monday announced the release of its May/June 2021 diet of the senior school certificate examination (SSCE).
This is as the examination body announced an ‘unprecedented’ success rate in the examination with a total of 1,274,784 candidates, representing 81.7 percent of the total 1,560,261 candidates that sat the examination who secured credit pass in five subjects including English and Mathematics.
Admission seekers in Nigeria are mandated to secure credit passes in five subjects including English and Mathematics.
The latest result is arguably the best that has been released in more than a decade.
The Head of Nigeria’s Office (HNO) of the examination body, Patrick Areghan, who made the announcement at the WAEC office in Yaba, Lagos, said he was impressed by the performance.
He said: “One Million, Two Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, Seven Hundred and Eighty-Four (1,274,784) candidates, representing 81.7%, obtained credits and above in a minimum of five (5) subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.
“Of this number, Six Hundred and Thirty Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty-Eight (630,138) i.e. 49.43% were male candidates, while Six Hundred and Forty-Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-Six (644,646) i.e. 50.57% were female candidates.
“The percentage of candidates in this category in the WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020, that is, those who obtained credit and above in a minimum of five (5) subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, was 65.24%. Thus, there is an appreciable 16.46% improvement in performance in this regard.”
He said credit must be given to both the federal and the state governments for the improvement in the performance, saying WAEC could not be said to be responsible for such apart from its collaborative efforts towards enhancing the standard of education in Nigeria and the other West African countries
Mr. Areghan, however, complained of the series of challenges that confronted the examination body during the conduct of the examination, listing insecurity, coronavirus pandemic, and the activities of those behind what he described as rogue websites as the major ones.
“The examination spanned seven weeks, between August 16 and October 8, 2021. Throughout the period, we were faced with serious security challenges in the South East (IPOB and ESN sit-at-home order) and banditry, kidnapping, insurgency, etc, in the north and other parts of the country. All these, coupled with the continuous effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic, made the whole exercise a Herculean one,” he said.
According to Mr. Areghan, the results of 170,146 candidates, representing 10.9 percent of the total candidates, are currently being withheld “in connection with various reported cases of examination malpractice.”
“Of great worry here is the activities of rogue-website operators and some other social media platforms, who post-examination questions online immediately after the commencement of the paper being administered. The increasing use of cell phones in the examination hall, in spite of the existing ban, and organised cheating in some schools, are other big concerns. All 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 HNO said.
He said the decision of the appropriate committee will be communicated to the affected candidates through their various schools.