The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has disclosed that it is in the advanced stages of implementing the Computer Based Test (CBT) mode for its examinations. Mr. Patrick Areghan, the Head of National Office (HNO) at WAEC, shared this information during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday.
Areghan’s comments came as he discussed the achievements and advancements made by WAEC during his tenure, as he prepares to step down from his role on October 1. He expressed his vision to introduce CBT for administering some of the council’s examinations in the near future.
He acknowledged that while progress had been made in planning for CBT examinations, certain challenges needed to be addressed, especially regarding practical and essay papers. Areghan pointed out that conducting CBT examinations for objective questions was more feasible, but the implementation of this technology faced hurdles related to computer literacy, access to computer facilities, and reliable electricity supply in schools.
However, Areghan emphasized that the council was committed to transitioning to CBT examinations, initially starting with objective questions and later incorporating theory and practical components. He suggested that there might be a phased approach where schools that are not yet prepared for CBT could continue using the traditional pencil and paper method.
In addition to the adoption of CBT, Areghan expressed his desire to fully digitalize all of WAEC’s operations in the near future. He highlighted the progress already made in digitalizing various aspects of the council’s functions, including the issuance and verification of certificates and result checking.
Furthermore, Areghan envisioned WAEC becoming more internationally visible and proposed the possibility of Nigerian children in the diaspora taking the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) overseas. He also mentioned the digital certificate launched in Nigeria, which allows candidates to access their certificates easily even if the physical copy is lost or damaged.
Areghan regarded the introduction of the Digital Security Printing Press as a significant milestone during his tenure, emphasizing its importance after 71 years of the council’s existence.
He concluded by highlighting his greatest achievement as successfully conducting examinations, releasing results within the stipulated timeframe, and promptly issuing certificates to deserving candidates, even during the challenging COVID-19 years from 2020 to 2023.
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