We were caught unaware of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing flurries of changes across the boards, with the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) suffering a change in its schedules.
Aside from this, conducting an examination is not a tea party. It is a huge task and requires working closely and collaborating effectively with all critical stakeholders, including the media. Implementing this requires a lot of preparations and even more, especially in the face of the rising cases of insecurity and the resurgence of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Also, we are to consider the security and safety of lives of all those involved, including the examination council’s staff, and materials to be used. A well-organized arrangement for the successful conduct of the upcoming examination, therefore, is expected in top gear as no stone is expected to be left unturned. Ahead of the conduct of the 2021 WASSCE, the council was working with relevant stakeholders to ensure a hitch-free WASSCE for school candidates, despite some challenges.
A few weeks ago, the West African Examinations Council, announced the date for the conduct of the 2021 West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE which is set to hold between August 16 to September 30, 2021.
Below are some of the factors that militated the widely and already known schedule range of the WASSCE timetable this year;
- COVID-19 outbreak:
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic affected the base of the nation’s education sector. With this, the academic calendar has been distorted, which tells the impossibility of having the examination earlier in May/June this year.
- Introduction of Computer-based test type:
This is one of the pivotal changes that causes the readjustment of the examination schedule to a further extend. The council was at the forefront of establishing CBT centers nationwide, in schools, and other places. The introduction of CBT would be a gradual process to allow students to get familiar with using computers for exams.
- Inclusion of indigenous subjects:
The inclusion of indigenous subjects like Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo languages was rescheduled for the general subjects to be taken first in a time-buying strategy to be at par with the rest of West Africa. This notion was championed and orchestrated by the Federal Government who worked out a negotiated timetable with the West African Examination Council.
- The unpreparedness of schools:
During one of the briefings of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja, the Federal Government reiterated that the country could not open schools. Not until they are sure that the children will go to schools with maximum level of protection.
- Little or no CBT training
After adopting a computer-based test for its examination, the council got entrapped at the idea and ideal of designing and developing a training mechanism that ensures that her candidates/students are well equipped to participate in the CBT test. These candidates/students are just trained practically in the class; they equally need to be tested on the theory aspect too.
- Collaborative efforts between stakeholders: The council was pulling their strength and collaborating with other examination bodies and experts outside Nigeria. To make sure that when the CBT test method is finally adopted, it won’t fail. This supposed achievement will only be possible with the cooperation and collaboration between the candidates/students, parents, teachers, schools, and the nation.
What do you think? Do you feel the WAEC timetable will sometimes meet with the nation’s education sector schedules? Do you think the adoption of the computer-based test type will be achievable with the WAEC candidates/students for writing their exams, just like the JAMB UTME candidates did?
What are your thoughts on this? Please use the comment box below and share with us your views; it is highly welcome.