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WAEC show of shame
Written by KEN UGBECHIE
~The SUN Nigeria. Sunday, September 25, 2016.
On its website the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) boldly advertises its vision and mission including the core values that drive its operations. WAEC is the over 60-year-old examination body for English-speaking West African nations. It is the bridge a student must cross to transit from secondary school to tertiary institution. In Nigeria, it was a monstrous monopoly until the emergence of the National Examination Council (NECO).
I recall those days preceding the emergence of NECO. Officials of WAEC, directly and by proxy, mounted a vehement campaign to discredit NECO. They had argued that the need for uniformity of standard in examination should not be compromised; that there was no need for another body administering similar examination. I stood on the side of WAEC on this matter that Nigeria does not need a duplicity of examination bodies for the same candidates.
But those who mooted the idea of NECO also mounted a strong argument. They argued that WAEC has lapsed into some sort of monopolistic arrogance; they canvassed the necessity and desirability of an alternative body to put WAEC in check. Obviously, at that time, a significant quantum of inefficiency has crept into the operations of WAEC in Nigeria. Examination papers were leaked (Expo) by officials of the organisation, marks were awarded for cash, results were altered right inside WAEC offices by officials of its IT department and many more rackets.
The examination body which started out as a model for high, unimpeachable standard thus became a trading post for fraudsters and fixers of results: the more money you pay, the higher your grades. Yes, WAEC sunk to such low depth at a time
Yet, its vision "is to be a world-class examining body, adding value to the educational goals of its stakeholders", while its mission "is to remain Africa's foremost examining body, providing qualitative and reliable educational assessment, encouraging academic and moral excellence and promoting sustainable human resource development and international cooperation".