……..List strategies used to reduce examination leakages
The Registrar, West African Examination Council, WAEC, Dr, Iyi Uwadiae will at the end of September, 2019 ends his tenure as the 12th Registrar to Council of the examination body.
The Registrar who succeeds another Nigerian, Alhaja Mulikat Bello in October, 2012 for a five year tenure and was granted a two-year extention of contract by council disclosed this during a chat with journalists in Lagos.
Uwadiae who spoke through a tele-conferencing facility on Wednesday highlighted his achievements and breakthrough during this period.
He disclosed that his team intensified effective communication and interactions with all stakeholders across the sub-region. “As a result of the efforts, the relationships between the Council and the various member governments and their functionaries improved tremendously, giving room for stronger ties among the nations, better cooperation with relevant ministries, departments, agencies, wider collaborations on diverse educational matters and excellent service delivery to the stakeholders.”
Commending other officers that worked with him during this period, the Registrar disclosed that he was very fortunate with the crop of Heads of National Office, Heads of Department at the Headquarters and other dedicated principal officers that formed with me the formidable team which moved the Council’s wheel of progress during my tenure.
“ I was also favoured by providence through the nomination unto Council of knowledgeable, dynamic, selfless and honourable men and women whose understanding, encouragement and backing at all times made it possible for me to utilize to the fullest the potentials of my team members. Together, we constantly pursued the course of better performance in all existing operations and broke new grounds where we found it expedient to do so.
“The Council continued to expand its consultancy services and demonstrate capacity for more functions and responsibilities in all its offices. Some member governments created new examinations and assigned their conduct to the Council. The Council’s efforts at making inroads into the neighbouring non-WAEC member countries like the Republic of Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali paid off, as more schools and candidates in those countries were attracted to the Council’s examination.”
On further expansion of the council, he added that after five years of piloting, the Secretariat successfully persuaded the Government of Liberia to adopt WASSCE fully with effect from 2018, thereby phasing out the Liberia Senior High School Certificate Examination (LSHSCE). The Council however, extended the conduct of LSHSCE for Private Candidates till 2019 to provide a further opportunity for the remnants of the examination.
“Also in order to satisfy the educational aspirations of some stakeholders in the member countries, the Secretariat successfully introduced additional diets of WASSCE and BECE for private candidates. We introduced in the private candidates’ examinations a facility for admitting on-the-spot candidates who were unable to enroll within the designated registration period.
“We also created Attestation of Results, which is a replacement as good as the original, to alleviate the challenges faced by former candidates whose original certificates are missing or destroyed.
“We remained focused on full migration into digital administration of examinations and the march towards this ultimate goal progressed significantly. To this end, WAEC-owned CBT installations have continued to spring up for use by the Council and public, private institutions, organisations while e-marking software and equipment have been deployed for the marking of selected subject papers,” he disclosed.
On examination malpractice, Uwadiae said the Secretariat paid the deserved attention to the issue of examination leakage and resolved to settle for nothing short of total eradication of the nuisance.
“We pursued a status of self-reliance in printing services which could guarantee our set target of 100% in-house printing of question papers. As at now, each national office has reached a certain stage in the establishment of an in-house printing press.
“Other types of malpractice also received our deepest reflection, as the Council constructed or furnished for use its own standard and model examination halls in places like Lagos and Benin City in Nigeria, Accra, Cape Coast, Wa and Koforidua in Ghana and Tubmanburg in Liberia.
“We were relentless in the deployment of technology in the Council’s operations and activities and with the use of technology, we built tighter security around our examination materials and conduct, as various gadgets and software were deployed for identification of candidates, capturing of data and detection of irregularities at examination centres.
“Constrained papers were also introduced to stifle cheating at the examinations. We successfully reduced the period for the processing of the results of WASSCE for School Candidates from an average of 84 days in the past to barely 45 days, and the compression is still ongoing.”
On technology, the Registrar told newsmen that the council has sustained the culture of paperless meetings with the preparation and circulation of electronic folders for all committee and staff meetings across the member countries.
“We now disseminate information and communicate worldwide through our well-maintained websites, subscribed telephone networks, the social media and other electronic and internet based channels. We also went some way further by implementing the Tele-conferencing Project, which had remained in the pipeline for quite a while. It gives me great pleasure, as we together with you launch today this Tele-conferencing Project for the Council.
“The facility is already functional in three offices, WAEC Headquarters, Accra, WAEC International Office, Lagos and The Gambia National Office, Banjul. When it is fully connected in all the member countries, we are confident that the facility will prove to be cost effective in all respects. It will also positively modify and take to higher levels meetings and other interactions within the Council or between the Council and its publics and numerous stakeholders,” he explained.
Dr. Uwadiae started his career in The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) on November 1, 1985, and served the Council in various positions of trust and responsibility as he ascended the ladder and following his promotion to the rank of Deputy Registrar in 2003, he was elevated to the headship of the Council’s Research Division and Headquarters Office, Lagos in 2005.
Subsequently, on February 4, 2008 precisely, he was appointed the Head of Nigeria National Office of the Council, a position he held for over four years. At the end of the tenure of the then Registrar, Alhaja (Mrs.) Mulikat Bello he was appointed the 12th Registrar to Council in 2012.