The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has solicited the support of the Federal Government to procure an outstanding printing machine to help its service delivery.
The Chairman of Council, Prof. Ato Essuman, said this when he led his team on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, in Abuja on Thursday.
Essuman said that the building and all the external work had been completed, adding that three of the machines had already been purchased.
He, however, said that the outstanding machine which costs 3.9 million U.S. dollars needed to be procured to enable the council achieve its mandate of conducting effective examinations.
” As a responsible and responsive organisation, the council is always seeking ways of improving on its service delivery to stakeholders.
“The Nigeria National Office embarked on the establishment of a Digital Printing Press for the printing of examination security materials, the first to be owned by the council in Nigeria.
“However, the project, which is nearing completion, has been stalled because we are not able to fund the acquisition of a particular machine that is vital to the operation of the system.
“I wish therefore to use this privilege extended to me today to request your kind intervention to enable us to secure the required financial assistance for the procurement of the machine,” he said.
Essuman said that in the 70 years of WAEC’s existence, Nigeria stands out in the comity of member nations not only in the discharge of its obligations, but also in the enthusiasm and promptness with which most of the obligations were discharged.
He, therefore, thanked the government and people of Nigeria for the support, cooperation and goodwill, which WAEC had received from from inception in 1952 to date.
Responding, Adamu promised to do his best to make sure that Nigerian government continues to support the council in achieving its mandate.
Also, the Head, Nigeria National Office, WAEC, Mr Patrick Areghan, while visiting its marking centre, said there had been a marginal increase of WAEC fees because of the country’s spiral inflation.
Areghan said that the conversion of naira to dollar today was a misery saying that the upward review of fees was necessary to enable the council render its services efficiently to the Nigerian child.
” There has to be that marginal increase to enable us to do better services. The examiners are now happy as we are able to increase their marking fees through this marginal increase.
” The money actually went for the payment of examiners to enable us satisfy them so that they can do the job better,” he said.
He said that each student writing the examinations now has to pay N18,000 as against the former N13,950.
On whether the council was planning to introduce the Computer Based Test (CBT) in the conduct of its examinations, Areghan said CBT would only be achieved if government provided the required facilities to enable it conduct such examinations.
He said that WAEC conducts examinations for over 20,000 secondary schools in the country and in 76 subjects and as such would be difficult to use CBT for its examinations knowing well that a candidate could offer as low as eight subjects.
In the same vein, Registrar of Council, Mr Pateh Bah, expressed satisfaction with the work carried out by examiners in the centre for prompt release of its results.
Bah said that the examiners had worked within the time limit of 45 days to which examination results would be released.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WAEC is a body responsible for the conduct of Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (SSCE) in five West African countries such as Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.