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WAEC Exam Palaver: the second-guessing game

The  May/June 2012 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results in Nigeria kept me wondering whether or not the results should be a source of celebration.In the last four years, WASSCE results have been depressing. In the May/June 2009 WASSCE, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) said that about 26% obtained credits in English Language, Mathematics and at least three other subjects. In 2010, about 23% of the candidates obtained 5 credits including English and Mathematics. In 2011, about 30% had 5 credits and above in five subjects including English and Mathematics. The 2012 WASSCE saw an increase of about 8% from last year’s performance.
The increase still falls far short of standard expectation. What could be the cause? I am inclined to think that the problem with the results can be traced to the residual systematic failure in education reforms over decades. The time has come for a choice to be made by the government to begin serious systemic reforms in teacher training, proper curriculum implementation and structural development. A few states have begun the long stride towards these reforms by providing teaching aids/equipment and facilitation of training for their staff. It is my impression that therein lies the future of the health of our pre-university education. In this, I am confident.