WAEC Commends Osun Govt For Prompt Payment Of Exam Fee

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has commended Osun State government for the prompt payment of examination fee for students in the public schools across the state. Deputy Registrar of WAEC, Dr. Olusanya Dacosta gave the commendation during the 2017 WAEC committee meeting held with the state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Kola Omotunde-Young in Osogbo.

 

According to Dacosta, Osun was among the few states which did not owe the examination body any fee. Dacosta who also lauded the state government for not giving room to examination malpractice during the conduct of exams, charged teachers in the state to strive hard to always cover the school curriculum before students sit for any external exams.

 

Earlier in his remarks, Omotunde-Young appreciated the examination body for recognising the positive input of the Aregbesola’s administration in the education sector, even as he enjoined the council to do a review of its questions. He urged WAEC to set up more questions that encourage critical and creative thinking, synthesis, analysis, comprehension and functional application of knowledge.

JAMB Direct Entry Portal Closes September 15

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it will close the Direct Entry e-Registration portal on Sept.15.

Dr Fabian Benjamin, the Head of Media and Information of the board, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.

Benjamin advised candidates yet to register to do so before the deadline, saying that there might be no postponement of the deadline.

He also advised JAMB candidates to re-upload their ‘O’ level results in the new portal as the previous portal did not allow for the capturing of candidates level of grades.

He also said that candidates should use the approved Computer Based Test (CBT) Centres for the exercise.

According to him, the new portal has provided a platform for the detailed category of the West African Examination Result (WAEC) of candidates for proper placement.

“The first platform that was used for the exercise does not create room for the capturing of the levels of grade such as C4, C5, C6, B1, B2, B3 and A1.

“ You know in some schools, all these ‘O’ level grades are being considered.

“For example, if you have B1 and another one has B3 and there is no room for separation in the platform schools may not be able to ascertain the level of grades some schools will consider the O’ level grades.

“And the first platform just stated A, B, C, so with this new platform, there will be room for the download of the level of grades. Somebody who has B1 will stand a better chance than the person with B3.

“So, we use this new platform to capture all those detailed categories of WAEC result so that no grade of result will be left uploaded.’’

Benjamin, however, said that any candidate who felt that what he or she uploaded before was enough might not bother.

(NAN)

33 Years After, Born-Again Christians Return WAEC Certificates For Cheating

Twenty-nine born again Christians have returned their certificates to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for engaging in examination malpractice when they sat for the exams.

The examination body in a statement released after its 62nd National Examination Committee meeting recently, said that among the 29 certificates that were returned by the born again Christians, includes one that was issued 33 years ago (1984) and another one that was issued 32 years ago (1985).

A breakdown showed that four certificates each were returned by born again Christians who on their own confessed that they cheated while sitting for their exams between 2011 and 2013.

Others include three that sat for the examinations in 2000, 2004, 2008, two each in 1992 and 2003 while one certificate each was returned by born again Christians who sat for the examination in 1984, 1985, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2012.

The council also announced the cancellation of 151 certificates already issued to candidates that sat for both school and private examinations who were later found to have engaged in examination malpractices.

Among the canceled certificates, include two issued 28 years ago (1989) and 27 years ago (1990) by WAEC while the ones issued in 2012 and 2013 are the current certificates.

A breakdown of the canceled certificates showed that the highest number 14, was issued in 2001 and 2002, 13 each in 1999 and 2000.

The statistics further revealed that WAEC canceled 12 certificates in 2003, ten in 2006, eight in 1988, seven each in 2004, 2007 and 2010, five each in 1993, 1995, 2009, 2012 and 2013. Others are four in 1994 and 2008, three each in 1996 and 2011, two each in 1997 and 2005 as well as one each in 1989, 1990 and 1992.

Of the 151 certificates canceled, four were for candidates who sat for May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and 147 for Nov/ Dec WASSCE confirming reports by NEC that examination cheat is rampant during the private candidate examination (GCE).

More Youths Cling To Reading As WAEC Records 70% Good Results

The 2017 West African Examinations Council (WAEC) results have been recorded to be the best in years. Yesterday, Monday WAEC released the results for the 2017 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) recording an improvement in the performance of candidates who obtained credits and above in at least six subjects by 69.54 per cent as compared with the previous year.

The Head of National Office (HNO) of the council, Mr. Olu Adenipekun, who briefed journalists, in Lagos, said out of 1,559,162 1,084,214 obtained six credits and above in six subjects.

He said 1,243,772 candidates, representing 79.77 per cent obtained credits and above in five subjects and that 1,357,193 candidates, representing 87.05 per cent also obtained credits and above in four subjects.

This could mean that a change has come to the educational sector.

WAEC: Principals Facilitates Examination Malpractice

The West African Examinations Council has said that there is an upsurge in examination malpractice because some principals are under pressure to increase the performance of their pupils in external examinations.

The examination body, therefore, called on the All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, to “act as a whistleblower to the council by reporting acts of examination malpractice during the WASSCE.’’

It also said that examination centers caught engaging in examination malpractice would be delisted, while candidates would be barred from sitting for WASSCE for an unspecified number of years.

This was contained in a communiqué issued by the Nigeria Examination’s Committee of the council at the end of its 63rd meeting recently.

The NEC is the highest decision-making organ of WAEC on examination-related matters in Nigeria. The communiqué was signed by the Head of Public Affairs, WAEC, Mr. Demianus Ojijeogu.

It read in part, “The committee approved that the entire results of candidates involved in proven cases of exam malpractice, which attracted the cancellation of the entire results be cancelled while the subject results of those involved in proven cases, which attracted cancellation of subject results, be similarly cancelled.

In addition, some candidates will also suffer other sanctions, such as barring them from sitting for the council’s examination for a certain number of years, while some examination centres will be delisted.”

The NEC also commended the Benue State Government for issuing queries to principals indicted for aiding and abetting examination malpractice, adding that other state governments, “should set up machinery to sanction erring supervisors and invigilators to serve as deterrent to others.”

The committee called on government and all stakeholders to intensify the fight against exam malpractice by sanctioning reported erring supervisors and invigilators

Osinbajo: What We Should Teach the Young Ones

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the opening of the 65th Annual Council Meeting of the West African Examinations Council in Abuja on Tuesday. Osinbajo, a former law teacher spoke on what he thinks should be the new direction of teaching and testing. Excerpts:

WAEC has in these years become one of the truly iconic institutions in our region. And I agree with the Honourable Minister of Education that there is hardly any Nigerian under the age of 60 or even older who has not had to be subject to a WAEC examination. Indeed, there are those who would say that the fear of WAEC is in some sense a way to being wise.

It is truly worthy of commendation that a sub-regional body which predates the independence of most of its members is still alive, relevant and growing from strength to strength. Every year we see more and more people subscribing to WAEC examinations and we see the examination body itself coping with the growing number of people and more challenges, this is truly worthy of commendation.

As this is a gathering of educators and I believe I can also describe myself as one, permit me the indulgence of some reflection on the idea of refocusing our philosophy of education in our sub-region.

What does educational success require today? What does it mean to be educated today? What do we as examiners look for as a measure of performance? Traditionally, philosophies of education have focused on what we should teach and that of course is crucial.

However, it is perhaps more important today to emphasise how we should teach, which obviously would impact how we should examine and what questions we should be asking and what it is that we should look for in our students. But regarding what we should teach, it is in my respectful view that it is more important now than ever before, to redefine success.

Today, the acquisition of wealth, power, or educational attainment or influence is the mark of success which isn’t necessarily a bad thing except that we are no longer concerned with the process or means of attaining success. The end, it appears today, justifies the means, which explains why cheating in exams and fake certificates simply do not generate the sort of outrage that such conduct would have generated years ago.

Often, cheating is with the collusion of parents and teachers. But this only reflects the larger failure of values in our societies. Public servants and many in private sector positions who have unexplainable phenomenal wealth are celebrated in one form or the other – alumni recognitions, honorary degrees, chieftaincy titles and even high religious titles.

So, education and educational policies within a milieu of collapsed values and leadership failure is a totally different kind of task. When values in society have collapsed, when they have been upturned, the role of the educator, the role of the policy maker is completely different unlike when values are maintained, by and large.

So, it is the challenge of our generation and time, as educators and as policy makers to set the moral and ethical standards that will define this new time and this new period that we are in, standards that emphasize integrity of the means by which success is attained and what it means to be successful. This will mean using and developing curricula that emphasize integrity, self-denial, and hard work.

At the moment, what we find is that we are almost pretending that values are still where they are because the way that we develop policy and the way we teach assumes that values are exactly where they were perhaps 65 years ago but that is not the case as you and I know.

So, it is the challenge of our generation and time, as educators and as policy makers to set the moral and ethical standards that will define this new time and this new period that we are in, standards that emphasise integrity of the means by which success is attained and what it means to be successful. This will mean using and developing curricula that emphasise integrity, self-denial, and hard work.

Somehow we must break through the false notion that success is obtainable by miracles and not hard work. How do we ensure that what we teach engenders positive work ethics?

It is also obvious that a major problem in many developing countries is planning and organisation. Anyone who has served in government in any of our countries will know that planning and organisation, and simply getting things done, starting and finishing things is a problem.

So, in developing curricular and teaching material, we must not and cannot avoid teaching young people without including planning, organisation, collaboration and team work ethic. These have become absolutely important because no matter how knowledgeable people are, if they can’t plan, if they can’t work together, and can’t depict the right work ethic, then practically all of the education they have acquired is useless.

Regarding the issue of how we teach, this is fundamental. Learning by rote or cramming is how we have always done it. This excludes critical thinking, introspection and analysis, and so it essentially involves cramming materials and regurgitating it at exams.

So, in developing curricular and teaching material, we must not and cannot avoid teaching young people without including planning, organisation, collaboration and team work ethic. These have become absolutely important because no matter how knowledgeable people are, if they can’t plan, if they can’t work together, and can’t depict the right work ethic, then practically all of the education they have acquired is useless.

Education must rigorously encourage curiosity. The mind of the young ought to be trained to question scientific and social phenomena – to think, to reason, to interrogate issues, to contest ideas, to be introspective. There are today accessible tools for this type of pedagogy. So today you have coding, basic computer programming, even animation production are now readily available.

In any event, it is becoming clear that technology has forced a shift in the paradigms of commerce, the practice of professions and ultimately development. Since innovation and creativity are the engines of technology itself, we cannot realistically teach this generation without methodology that emphasises creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving as fundamental outcomes.

It follows also that how we examine should be driven by the same considerations, the sort of answers that we should be looking for, the kind of questions that we should be setting for exams, the outcomes that we expect should reflect in many ways what we are teaching and we should be teaching more critical thinking, more problem solving and the of outcomes that will produce the kind of individuals who are able to think through systems and who are able to innovate.

Let me just say that my experience as both a law teacher and as a person in government is that we need in young people and for everyone who is associated with the work of government to be able to ask certain questions and we need to encourage an atmosphere where people ask questions. So, people are interrogating all of the things that they come across.

I found that as a teacher, you expect that a student in your class should be able to solve legal problems but the way that people are taught is not necessarily to solve legal problems; it is to assimilate the material and give it back to you on examination day and that affects everything. It affects how the lawyer develops, it affects whether or not the lawyer will be able to look at all of the material required to bring justice and to bring succor to client or to society.

So, I think that our emphasis must be on encouraging a thinking society, a society that can question.

I like to again congratulate all of you and wish you very well indeed as you continue today’s event and it is my honour to formally declare this meeting open.

Osun Pupils, Teachers Laud Volunteer Corps Scheme

Public secondary school pupils in Osun State have lauded the Volunteer Corps Tutoring programme, a private intervention to help less privileged pupils improve through extra lessons.

The programme aims at preparing SS3 pupils adequately for public examinations such as the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO), as well as the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the JAMB.

The programme which features intensive weekend (Friday-Sunday) coaching began in Osun on December 10, last year, though it has existed in Lagos for 25 years.

The pupils and volunteer teachers are fed meals during the classes to avoid distraction due to hunger and tiredness on the Saturdays.

The pupils are being taught Mathematics and English and were given work books on both subjects that contain past questions as well as notebooks.

Teachers got a manual; marking scheme of WAEC standard.

State coordinator of the programme, Mrs Ibiyemi Ifaturoti, said there are scholarships available for those who excel in the examination.

She visited some centres where the classes hold in various schools in the Ife/Ilesa zone recently, where pupils and teachers made positive comments about the scheme.

Ozomue Mathew of School of Science, Ondo Road, described the intervention “as a nice project helping us. It will really be effective in eradicating mass failure in schools; we thank the organisers.”

Abosede Fadare of St. Margaret’s High School, Ilesa, has her eyes on the scholarship.

“(I will) try to be among the best so I can be one of those who will get the scholarship,” she said.

Maths teacher, Mr Segun Lawrence Omisakin, said the programme was yielding fruits.

“The project is fine and the students are responding well. I have no qualms teaching for free on the weekends I am supposed to be resting but it is God that rewards. No amount of money can ever be enough,” he said.

Mrs Abimbola Awofisayo, also a Maths teacher at the School of Science, Ondo Road, advised the organisers to start earlier with the next set.

“It is a really nice programme but the time for preparation is short. I’ll advise the organisers to let’s start from maybe SS2 so we can catch them young. I have done a lot of volunteering in the past and my joy will be to meet the students in future when they have become successful,” she said.

Hamza Musa, a youth corps member serving at C&S Middle School, Ilesa, but who teaches maths on weekends at St. Margaret’s High School, Ilesa, said participating in the programme was fulfilling.

“I am usually free at weekends and decided to engage myself by coming here to teach. I’m enjoying imparting knowledge to the younger students and I’m happy they are responding well,” he said.

Disclosing the reason for the intervention, Mrs Ifaturoti, said the poor performance of public schools pupils in the last WASSCE was just one of the motives for the initiative.

“It is one of the motivations but it is really high time that we started impacting the lives of children in other places apart from Lagos. Let’s just say the time was just ripe” she said.

The coordinator, who disclosed that convincing the teachers to work free on weekends, was not easy however acknowledged the roles played by the three zonal coordinators, Alhaji ‘Lekan Salami, Deaconess Adeola Akanji and Pastor Ayodele Obadire in getting the programme started.

She also thanked the Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for approving the initiative.

WAEC to Partner with Osun on e-testing of Students

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has said it would partner with the Osun State Government in the area of electronic assessment of students.

WAEC Head National Office (HNO), Mr Olu Adenipekun, revealed this during a courtesy visit to Gov. Rauf Aregbesola in Osogbo.

According to Adenipekun, “WAEC will require support and assistance of the state government with allocation of land in conducive location for this project.”

“The council is willing to collaborate with the Ministry of Education to create avenues for experience-sharing with teachers in secondary schools in the state.”

“This will be in the areas of standardised testing and candidates/ students assessment…

“We will continually ensure the smooth conduct of our examinations. We are equally open for collaboration in the training of teachers in order to improve the performance of candidates in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE),’’ he said.

Adenipekun commended the governor for strides in education in the state, praising the “Opon Imo’’ (meaning tablet of knowledge) initiative by the state government, as a major breakthrough of Aregbesola’s administration in the education sector.

Aregbesola im response commended WAEC for diligent conduct of their variois exs and promised to approve a piece of land for the proposed e-testing and training centre as requested by the WAEC.

“I am happy you are here today to recognise our little efforts in improving the quality of teaching and learning. But we are not particularly happy with our performance because we are still not where we want to be.”

“Our progress is steady, certain and with that progress, it has guaranteed us the need to do more.”

“Your visit has encouraged us to do more, and I want to assure you that we are fully committed and willing to partner with you on all your projects, aimed at driving our developmental effort in education.”

“What you want to do is a blessing and therefore, I want to appeal to you to register us as your partner in all your projects,’’ the governor said.

Aregbesola Attacks Ignorant Opposition Members Demanding His Resignation Over Osun’s WAEC Results

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the state of Osun has attacked critics demanding his resignation for the state’s woeful performance in the last Senior Secondary WAEC examinations results.

The governor’s spokesperson, Semiu Okanlawon, said Wednesday that those calling for Mr. Aregbesola’s resignation were “naive and ignorant of statistics”.

Mr. Okanlawon said the call stemmed from the “usual lack of knowledge of performance charts and attention to details that the opposition elements are notorious for”.

He said records and statistics of students put forward by the government in the past years have shown that there is improvement in percentage of overall results.

“Those who say Osun is declining are not being honest. The following data will show their claims to be totally unfounded. The performance of pupils has not gone down under the watch of Aregbesola.

“In 2007, the state government put forward 36,171 candidates for WAEC examination out of which 2,483 representing 6.86 per cent had credit pass in five subjects, including English and Mathematics.

“In 2008, it was 37,715 candidates with 3,813 pass, representing 10.11 per cent. In 2009 it was 39,676 candidates, with 5,545 pass, representing 13.98 per cent. In 2010 it was 43,216 candidates, with 6,777 pass, representing 15.68 per cent. If you put these four years together, you will get an average of 15.68 per cent.

“Put side by side, when Aregbesola’s administration started sponsoring candidates for WAEC in 2011. That year, it fielded 53,293 candidates, had 11672 pass, representing 21.98 per cent. In 2012, it fielded 51,463 out of which 11,431 passed, representing 22.21 per cent. In 2013, it also fielded 47,013 candidates, recorded 9,301 pass, representing 19.78 per cent.

“In 2014, government sponsored 47,672 candidates, 9,316 of them passed, representing 19.54 per cent. The average performance for Aregbesola’s first four years was 20.88 per cent. Compared with the average performance (13.26 per cent) of the three years that preceded it, the percentage improvement in performance during Aregbesola’s tenure is a huge 57.46 per cent,” Mr. Okanlawon said in a statement.

He said the improvement was result of strategic planning by the administration.

“The first task of his administration was to convene an education summit which was chaired by Prof Wole Soyinka. Since then, all the interventions in the education sector have been the outcome of that summit,” the statement added.
The statement said the Aregbesola administration was constructing 100 elementary schools, 50 middle schools and 20 high schools out which 14 elementary schools, 15 middle schools and 11 high schools have been completed in addition to rehabilitating the existing ones.

Contrary To Reports, Osun Has Paid WAEC Fees For 11,394 Students

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Permanent Secretary, Osun State Ministry of Education, Mr. Lawrence Oyelade Oyeniran has disclosed that the Government of the state of Osun under the leadership of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, has registered and paid for over 11,000 students seeking to seat for this year’s West African Examination Council, WAEC, West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.

His submission was contrary to report of a section of the media which reported that Osun has placed an embargo on the payment of WAEC fee for the final year students of public Secondary School in the state.

Debunking the allegation while addressing the journalists in Osogbo, Mr. Oyeniran who described Osun education policy as one of the best in the world, said the state has recorded greater achievements in education sector.

He stressed that the education initiatives and policies introduced by the current government in the state has contributed meaningfully to pupils in all the public schools across the state.

Analyzing the selection procedures and criteria adopted by government in picking those students that were paid for, Mr. Oyeniran opined that the step was taken to restore seriousness among the students, saying with the new development, the students would see greater need for them to sit tight for any examination.

Mr. Oyeniran recalled the state under the Ministry of Education had initially conducted prerequisite examination called “Mock exams” for those students in S.S.3 which according to him was aimed at selecting the best to be enrolled to write WAEC free of charge.

According to him, the criteria includes compulsory pass mark in four subjects, of which Mathematics and English were mandatory for all candidates.

He stated further, “As I am talking to you now, the State Government of Osun has paid WAEC fee for 11,394 students across the state.

“The students that benefited from this scheme are those that passed the state pre-WAEC exams known as Mock examinations conducted recently.

“This action was taken because out of the nine subjects that were written by the students, each of them must at least pass four subjects before such a student could be qualified for the government scholarship.

“Any candidate who is able to pass four papers including English and Mathematics, such candidate would be fully registered by government and as a matter of fact they have been registered.

“It is those candidates who were unable to pass English and Mathematics that their parents were asked to pay to register for the WAEC examination.

Mr. Oyeniran stated that the purpose for the exams was to build the needed confidence in the students and ensure government is only spending resources on those students who are ready to learn.

The Permanent Secretary also frowned at what he described as gross indiscipline and violation of law, saying those students that were allegedly caught while destroying government property at the Ile-Ife branch of Osun State Broadcasting Corporation should be legally punished.

“The students involved were misled in their thinking and as a matter of fact, these are the students who wrote the Mock Exams but failed to pass the required four subjects or perform as expected.

“If you look at the neighboring states, many of them are no longer registering their students free of charge for WAEC.

“What the protesting students have done was nothing but a criminal offence and they should be held responsible, prosecuted and properly dealt with for the action”, Mr. Oyeniran stated.

He debunked the rumours making the round that the government motive on the Mock Exams was to serve as discriminatory measures, saying the exams was totally conducted with utmost sincerity, transparency and accountability while the students were selected on merit.

The Permanent Secretary said the current government successfully registered students free of charge in the past five years, adding that, in 2011, over 26,000 students were registered and paid for.

According to him, “in 2012, over 32,000 students were registered. In 2013, over 34,000 students were registered. In 2014, over 36,000 students were registered and last year, over 32,000 students were registered.

He said Osun government has so far expended over N2billion on the payment of West Africa Examination Council, WAEC for Secondary School Students.