West Examinations Council (WAEC) says late registration of candidates by schools, for its West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), would no longer be allowed, beginning from 2022.
The Head of National Office (HNO) of WAEC, Mr Patrick Areghan, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
Areghan spoke against the backdrop of late registration of candidates by some schools in an alleged bid to shop for external candidates.
The HNO warned that there would be no going back on deadlines set by the council for the registration of school candidates, henceforth.
According to him, there is a need for school owners to respect deadlines for upload of their candidates’ details for the examination.
He said that late registration was a major challenge to the council.
“Late registration makes preparations very cumbersome. On the contrary, we do not experience same during examination for private candidates”.
“This year, we opened our portal for registration of candidates on February 5, to close on May 16; that is a three-month interval.
“We later extended it to May 31, but due to activities of defaulters, we kept shifting the goalpost until the end of June.
“This is July and as at 15th, these stragglers were still calling for more extension”.
These are people who will not do the needful within the given period; this will no longer be tolerated, no matter the explanation advanced,” he warned.
The WAEC boss noted that there was a Federal Government policy on education which stated that no school should enroll external candidates for WASSCE for schools.
“If a student should fail the examination while in school, depending on the policy of the state, if given the opportunity to repeat, he or she could repeat; if not, such a person should go and attempt the examination again as a private candidate.”
Government has stated it clearly that we should not enroll external candidates to sit for school examination.
According to Areghan, in order to make the system more effective, schools must insist on carrying out continuous assessments progressively for students from SS1 to SS3.
The HNO explained that there was a collaboration that emphasised capturing and upload of students details from SS1, in a bid to avoid registration of external candidates. According to him, this has been the case in some schools. He said, however, that there had been sabotage, especially by private-owned schools.
“They do not want to comply. Should they comply with the process and directive, the issue of registering external candidates will never arise.
“I recall in 2018, they frustrated our efforts, but it did not work, same in 2019.
“This year, we have taken the issue to our board and it has given us the necessary backing; those who could not register within the given time frame were shut out and have been all over the place complaining,” he told NAN.
The HNO said that the alleged saboteurs would come up with excuses ranging from mistake in subject registration to misspelling of names.
“Right now, whatever you submit as your continuous assessment score record, name of candidates and other details, is what we transfer to our registration portal.
“No change is effected but unfortunately, upon doing all these, some schools still go-ahead to enroll fictitious named so that when they go shopping for external candidates, they come back to demand for a change of information on candidates’ profiles,” he said.
He said that because the council would want to give every qualified Nigerian child a chance to sit for the examination, it had to work day and night.
“Our message now is that it will no longer be business as usual. We have started to checkmate all these unwholesome activities and we are putting down our feet”.
On our part, we will ensure we carry out adequate sensitisation on the issue through our media partners and even on social media.
“Once we close registration, that will be it,” the HNO said.