The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), on Monday, announced the release of the results for the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates.
The examination body said out of a total of 1,613,733 candidates that sat the examination, the results of 262,803 candidates are being withheld “due to reports of cases of examination malpractice.”
The Head of Nigeria’s Office (HNO) of WAEC, Patrick Areghan, who made the announcement in Lagos, also hinted at his exit from the examination body as he is set to retire in a few weeks.
Meanwhile, Mr Areghan announced an improvement in pass rate by candidates as a total of 1,361,608 candidates, representing 84.38 per cent, obtained credit and above in a minimum of five subjects with or without English Language or Mathematics.
Also, 1,287,920 candidates, representing 79.81 per cent of the total candidates, obtained credits and above in a minimum of five subjects including English Language and Mathematics.
In 2022, 76.36 per cent of the 1,601,047 candidates that sat the examination, obtained credits and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.
The release of the 2023 results would offer a ray of hope for candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions.
Some of the admission seekers who sat the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) did not provide the required SSCE results in their application forms but declared they were awaiting their results.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) conducted UTME for admission seekers nationwide in May, and many tertiary institutions have since commenced admission processes.
Giving a further breakdown of the 2023 examination, Mr Areghan said out of the candidates that sat the examination in Nigeria, only the results of 1,476,565 candidates, representing 91.5 per cent have been fully processed and released while 137,168 candidates, representing 8.5 per cent have a few of their subjects still being processed.
He explained that the delay is due to some “shortcomings, nonchalant, lethargy, incomplete CASS upload, disobedience of rubrics, etc associated with the schools and candidates concerned.”
Of the 1,613,733 candidates that sat the examination, Mr Areghan noted that 794,280 were males while 819,453 were females, representing 49.22 per cent and 50.78 per cent respectively.
He added that 70,794 of the candidates were with varying degrees of special needs: 109 were visually impaired, 386 had impaired hearing, 33 were spastic cum mentally challenged and 34 were physically challenged.
“All these candidates were adequately provided for the administration of the examination. The results of these candidates have been processed and are also now being released along with those of other candidates,” he added.
Cashless policy, other challenges
During the conduct of the 2023 WASSCE, Mr Areghan said the council was faced with financial constraints “orchestrated by the cashless policy and the hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), as a result of fuel subsidy removal.”
He noted that disruptions were experienced in some parts of the South-east due to the enforcement of a sit-at-home order by the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and also some insecurity concerns in parts of the North-west.
Mr Areghan also recounted how the council lost a vehicle and its contents to an armed robbery attack at Okigwe, on the road to Enugu on 4 June 2023.
“The armed robbers took away our vehicle and the contents, but to the glory of God, no one was harmed. The vehicle was found after two days, with all the contents intact,” he said.
“However, we had already reprinted the codes involved at an extra cost that was not budgeted for. This incident disrupted our logistics and scheduled operations.”
On examination malpractice, Mr Areghan said the figure of 262,803 withheld results, representing 16.29 per cent of the total number of candidates that sat the examination in 2023, is lower than the 22.83 per cent recorded in 2022.
“The reasons for this are not far-fetched. Candidates are no longer ready to study, they lack self-confidence and preparations for examinations are poor,” he said “There is over-reliance on the so-called ‘expo’, which is non-existent.”
He reiterated that the council will continue to sanction all cases of examination malpractice while noting that all the reported cases of “organised cheating” are being investigated.
Access to digital certificates
Mr Areghan further noted that the results of candidates who sat the 2023 WASSCE are being uploaded on the results website and that the candidates can access their digital certificate simultaneously.
He said: “The digital certificates of candidates who sat the WASSCE for school candidates 2023, and who have no pending issues, by way of unresolved queries or hanging cases of examination malpractice, are ready on the digital certificate platform.
“Printing of the physical (hard copy) certificates will commence 90 days from today. This is an innovation that will make admission processes seamless and with a high level of mobility.”
He added that the result checker PIN and serial number required by candidates to check their results online are on the candidate’s smart identity card used during the examination.
Highlighting the achievements recorded in WAEC under his stewardship as the HNO of WAEC, Mr Areghan said apart from the digital certificate, the council launched Educational Statistics (EDUSTAT) platform that enables stakeholders to access statistics online.
The council also established a functional WAEC Nigeria Digital Printing Press (WNDPP) after 71 years of existence, and other digital platforms.
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