“Mr Charles Eguridu, Head of Nigerian National Office,
West African Examinations Council”
Education sector policy makers still have a lot to worry about, going by the persistent high failure rate being recorded in the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
Results released last month in Lagos by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), showed that out of the 236, 853 candidates that sat for the November/December 2014 WASSCE, only 72, 522 or 29.37 per cent obtained five effective credits. Effective credits refer to the inclusion of English Language and Mathematics in a combination of five subjects required for admission in any Nigerian university or polytechnic.
Although, the council’s Head of Nigerian National Office (HNO), Mr. Charles Eguridu told journalists that this particular performance was better than the 2013’s 26.97 per cent pass rate, it was, in fact, the worst in three years, when compared to the November/December 2012 results, in which 34.84 per cent of the candidates emerged with five effective credits.
In what is increasingly becoming the norm, the HNO said 205, 090 or 83.08 per cent of the candidates obtained credit passes in just two subjects; 177,177 or 71.77 per cent had three credits while 145,036 made four credits. In effect, about 70 per cent of this set of candidates would have to resit the examination, to make up for their respective shortfalls.
More troubling is that candidates for the November/December diet are deemed to have taken the examination at least once before, since private candidates are not allowed to sit for the May/June diet normally reserved exclusively for final year secondary students. The implication? The 70 per cent that failed was for the second time.
Out of a total of 48 blind students that also sat for the examination, only four or 8.33 per cent obtained five effective credits.
Although, 114,332 of the total number of candidates were female, the HNO did not indicate whether male candidates performed better than their female counterparts.
Eguridu said 5,691 candidates still have their results being processed “due to some errors mainly traceable to the candidates and cyber cafes,” either in the course of registration or when writing the examination. “Such errors are being corrected by the council to enable the affected candidates get their results,” he assured.