Registrar of West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Dr Iyi Uwadiae, has accused secondary schools nationwide of inflating Continuous Assessment Scores (CAS) of their students.
Uwadiae dropped the bomb shell at the two-day international summit on examination malpractice with the theme “Examination malpractice: The contemporary realities and antidotes,” in Lagos, which attracted key stakeholders from the five-member countries.
CAS forms 30 per cent of students’ grades in the May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). The capturing starts from senior secondary (SS1), but the CASS used to compute the total score for the terminal examination is the one recorded at SS111. He told the gathering, which included top government officials, principals and students, that for some time now, schools manufacture continuous assessment scores for students and send to council as part of their grades for May/June WASSCE.
In his remarks at the closing ceremony of the event, the registrar disclosed that for several years, schools cook up continuous assessment scores of students in SS1 and SS11, which they submit to WAEC.
To check the sharp practice, he explained that WAEC has developed software for schools to send the continuous assessment scores of their students on annual basis, which would be stored in the data base of the council.
He described the action of the schools as another form of examination malpractice and vowed that, henceforth, the sharp practice would not be tolerated, but did not disclose if sanctions would be applied to offenders.
Uwadiae said:” Continuous assessment scores in many schools were manufactured for a very long time. Not to worry, WAEC has developed in-house software in our offices. Schools are expected to use it from SS1 and SS11. By this method, we will bring sanity about the CAS.
“Software to monitor CAS submission from schools is expensive. We hope the five government nominees on council will help in this direction. By the time the software is in use, it will bring to an end the manufacturing of CAS from schools.’’
On the danger Information and Communications Technology (ICT) pose to conduct of examination, the registrar informed stakeholders that WAEC Nigeria has developed customised calculator without chips, which is used during the school and private candidate examinations.
“The customised calculator is given to candidates during registration; WAEC is the solely distributor of the calculators. From 2018, we want all candidates for our examinations to have it,’’ he said. The WAEC boss directed the five Heads of National Office (HNOs) present at the summit to ensure the calculators are put to use from the May/June 2018 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Chief Government Nominee on Council for Nigeria, Mr. Jonathan Mbaakaa, blamed examination malpractice on attitude of some teachers who, rather than teach students, were busy selling items during school hours; some don’t come to school nor cover the syllabus for each subjects.
Mbaakaa, who is also the Director of Basic Education, Federal Ministry of Education, disclosed that the federal government intends to declare a state of emergency on the education sector, and at the end of the period, sanity would have been restored with measures to address issues confronting the sector.
He said examination malpractice has become a cankerworm which requires collective efforts of member countries to tackle, and assured that government would implement recommendations of the two-day summit.
The four other government nominees from The Gambia, Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone, shared their countries’ experiences and how they were tackling examination malpractice. They agreed that stiffer sanctions are required to tame the scourge.