The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has called on governments of member countries of the council to promulgate and enforce relevant laws in the fight against examination malpractices in the sub-region.
A report issued by the Public Affairs Department of WAEC and signed by its Head, Biodun Aduloju, after the council’s 61st annual meeting held in The Gambia, and made available to the Daily Graphic, described the problems “as a major threat to educational assessment and manpower development.”
The week-long meeting was attended by delegates from the member countries of WAEC comprising The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
Among the delegates were the nominees of governments, representatives of ministries/departments of education, universities, teachers’ associations, and other interest groups.
The meeting was preceded by the 18th WAEC Endowment Fund Lecture entitled ‘Rethinking Teaching, Learning and Examining for Quality Enhancement in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Roles, Challenges and Prospects of Digital Technologies,’ which was delivered by Professor Mohammadou M.O. Kah, Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia.
The council, which is the highest organ of the organisation, holds its meetings annually and in rotation among the five member countries. The meeting was hosted in 2012 by the government of Nigeria and it will be the turn of the government of Sierra Leone in 2014.
At the 61st meeting, the Council reviewed the activities and operations of the organisation in the five member countries. It considered reports from its national and international committees on various aspects of the organisation’s operations, and ratified the decisions taken on its behalf in the preceding year by the committees.
It also deliberated on the action plans and operational strategies presented by the committees and national offices, and approved guidelines for the successful execution of the Council’s mandate in the years ahead.
The Council received reports from the leaders of country delegation, and noted with appreciation the efforts being made by their respective governments to improve access to quality education. It urged the delegates to digest the status reports presented by the leaders of delegation with a view to adopting best practices.
It expressed appreciation to all member governments for sustaining WAEC for 61 years in spite of the difficult economic situation of the sub-region.
It also appealed to international donor agencies, philanthropic organisations and patriotic individuals to assist governments in the funding of the education sector to enhance national growth, quality manpower production and sustainable development.
The council honoured three candidates with the WAEC International Excellence Award for their outstanding performance in the May/June 2012 WASSCE during the formal opening ceremony.
They are Miss Yvette Yeboah-Kordieh (1st Prize), Master Josbert Abaasa Ayambire (2nd Prize) and Master Bright Seyram Tsevi (3rd Prize). The three candidates, all Ghanaians, were selected from a total of 1,936,728 candidates who sat the examination in The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
Miss Yvette Yeboah-Kordieh also won the Augustus Bandele Oyediran Award for the Best Candidate in West Africa.
The opening ceremony also witnessed the conferment of the prestigious award of Distinguished Friend of Council on Mr Matthew P. Ndure, a citizen of The Gambia, for his outstanding contributions to the operations and progress of the council.
At the end of the meeting, the council expressed deep appreciation to the government and people of The Gambia for the resources committed to hosting the meeting and the hospitality accorded the delegates.
The meeting ended with the election of The Gambia’s Chief Government Nominee on the Council, Mr Baboucarr Bouy, as Vice-Chairman for a one-year tenure. He succeeds Barrister D. C. Uwaezuoke of Nigeria.
The meeting, which was held from March 18 to 22, 2013, was formally declared opened by Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, President of the Republic of The Gambia, who was represented by the Minister for Presidential Affairs, Secretary General and Head of Civil Service, Dr Njogu L. Bah.
In an address read on his behalf, President Yahya Jammeh recalled that the examinations syllabuses developed by foreign examining bodies in the past reflected mainly values and ideas that were alien to West Africa.
He expressed delight that WAEC not only considered and catered for the candidates’ cultural environment in its test papers, but also provided the sub-region with a vibrant educational focus through its world class service delivery activities.
The President observed that for 61 years, WAEC had played prominent roles in educational development and regional integration in West Africa, and assured the Council of continued support by his government in the discharge of its responsibilities to the people of the sub-region.
He called for concerted efforts by all the member nations in the fight against examination malpractices.