Monday, August 8, 2016

WAEC's results and the endless fluctuating performance

After three years of con­secutive mass failures that characterised the May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination, the result of this year’s examina­tion has shown a significant de­parture from the recent past as most candidates recorded credit passes in the core subjects.

The improved performance, which is coming at a time the nation’s education sector is be­devilled with various challenges, has continued to elicit diverse reactions from stakeholders, just as many have called for con­certed efforts to ensure that the performance will not be a flash in the pan.

“This year performance was a big surprise to me consider­ing the issues of non-payment of salaries in most states and the blatant neglect of the education sector by successive govern­ments,” an Abuja based teacher, Ibrahim Audu said.

Until the recent result, which saw almost 53 per cent of can­didates securing credit passes in five subjects and above, in­cluding English Language and Mathematics, a close look at the performance of students in the May/June examination over the recent years revealed a fluctuat­ing abysmal performance.

This year’s improved result ac­cording to the Head, Nigeria Na­tional Office of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), Olu Adenipekun, saw 878,040 (52.97 per cent ) out of the 1, 552, 758 students who sat for the examination obtaining credit pass in five subjects and above, including the compulsory Eng­lish Language and Mathematics.

However, in the May/June re­sult released in August last year, only 38.68 per cent of candi­dates obtained five credits pass and above in compulsory sub­jects.

Figures released by WAEC on the May/June 2014 exami­nation did not however show a better performance as only 31.28 per cent of candidates obtained five credits and above, including English Language and Math­ematics.

But in the 2013 examination, out of 1, 671, 268 candidates that sat for the examination, 889, 636, representing 53.2 per cent made six credits and above, while 1, 074, 065 candidates, representing 64.2 per cent made five credits.

This fluctuating performance together with the marked dis­parity with the results often churned out by the National Examination Council (NECO) appear to be making it difficult to easily access improvement being recorded in the nation’s education sector.

Though states like Abia, Anambra, Edo, Imo, have con­tinuously maintained top spots in WAEC examinations over the recent years, the disparity in performance when compared to NECO as well as the unstable trend in the national average performance have become a source of concern to some stakeholders.

Last year when only 38.68 per cent of WAEC candidates obtained five credits pass and above including in the compul­sory subjects, almost 69 per cent of candidates recorded the same feat in the NECO conducted June/July SSCE.

“Measuring the progress be­ing recorded in the education sector with WAEC or NECO results alone will not really lead to any reliable results. The per­formance trend has been fluctu­ating, besides, the results of the two examination bodies are of­ten at variance,” an Abuja based educationist, Benson Agbo, said.

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