Reps probe WASSCE paper leakages, malpractice

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The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the incessant leaking of questions set for exams conducted by the West African Examination Council, leading to malpractice and cancellation of results by the regional body.

Adopting the motion moved by a member of the House, Benjamin Kalu, at the plenary on Wednesday, the lawmakers urged WAEC to “establish more rigorous standards for the administration, monitoring, supervision and evaluation of O’ Level examinations in Nigeria.

The House also mandated its Committee on Basic Education and Services to “investigate the incessant leakages of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination questions as well as repeated and unconscionable cancellation of examinations by the West African Examinations Council in Nigeria.

The committee is to revert within four weeks for further legislative action.

Moving the motion titled ‘Need to Investigate Chronic Leakage of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination Questions and Incessant Cancellation by the West African Examinations Council in Nigeria,’ Kalu noted that WAEC is the body responsible for the administration, monitoring, supervision and evaluation of WASSCE in Nigeria.

The lawmaker also noted that WASSCE is the foremost O’ Level examination in Nigeria, which is usually taken by over 1.5 million candidates every year.

He recalled that on September 15, 2021, in a notice issued by its Public Affairs Department, WAEC cancelled Physics 2 & 1 and Business Management 2 & 1 examinations, which were originally scheduled for September 15, 2021, citing leakage of some examination papers in social media as a reason for the cancellation.

Kalu also recalled that WAEC had at several times in the past cancelled examinations for similar reasons, including the cancellation of Literature in English papers taken by private candidates in 2021.

The lawmaker stated that “the reasons do not warrant cancellation of an examination of such magnitude and such repeated cancellations are indicative of ineptitude on the part of the examining body.

He quoted the Head of WAEC National Office in Nigeria, Areghan Patrick, to have said that the examination body spends over N1.5bn annually to conduct WASSCE and was operating at a deficit of N7bn.

Kalu said, “The House is concerned that the cancellation and subsequent rescheduling of exams by WAEC results in wastage and incurs avoidable expenses to the country which is already burdened with debt.

“The House is also concerned that according to the Global Youth Development Index, Nigeria currently ranks 161st of 181 countries in youth education and employment.”

“The House is worried that if urgent action is not taken to check the inefficiencies of WAEC, improve the security of O’ Level examinations and ultimately put an end to the incessant cancellation of exams, Nigeria’s education system will further deteriorate.”

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