WASSCE: Computer Based Examination Won’t Work, NUT tells WAEC
The Nigeria Union of Teachers has criticised the West African Examinations Council’s plans to migrate its West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination for Private Candidates Examination Diets from paper and pencil tests to computer-based examinations.On Monday, WAEC, in a statement, announced that the innovation would commence with WASSCE for private candidates, 2024 first series.It added that it was the vision of the Council that in the near future, all its examinations would be delivered via the computer.However, the Secretary-General, NUT, Dr Mike Ike-Ene, argued that the Nigerian basic education sector was not ready and prepared for the proposed CBE.Speaking with our correspondent, Ike-Ene, argued lack of computers in schools, a lack or poor electricity supply, and unstable Internet networks would likely hamper the CBE being proposed by WAEC.“Nigerians don’t have to roll out policies because it sounds good. The NUT can never tell you it does not know the importance of ICT but there is a big challenge about this WAEC CBE. If you are assuming the schools in Nigeria all have connections, you will be shocked; most are not. Making decisions hastily is not the best, we are quick at copying things that won’t work.“I tell you for free that it won’t work. We talked about insecurity in our schools, and for schools that are well-equipped, how do they cope with securing these things? How much will be given to a principal to repair computers? The issue of a poor Internet network is there. I can say it is the best thing that can happen in Nigeria but before we go paperless, you must be computer literate. A school that doesn’t get imprest, if a computer breaks down, how do they repair it? Will you ask the students to contribute (money) for the repair?“How will the village boy and girl who have not seen a computer before cope? I don’t think the idea can sell for now. If WAEC goes ahead we will kick against it, we can even go on strike for it. Whoever suggested it has plans to fail Nigerian students. We are highly against it.”While reacting to the plans of WAEC to take the CBE to only urban centres for now, while the rural areas that couldn’t afford the ICT gadgets for the smooth running of CBE, Ike-Ene, added that “They are creating division, of the bourgeois and others. They can have a plan that says from 2024 till the next five years, let’s make sure the schools have computers. But if there is no security, someone will cart them away. Nigeria is vast, you have to think about those you are making the policy for.”But the National President, All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Public Schools, Mr Musa Ibrahim, applauded the introduction of CBE for private candidates by WAEC.He said, “The use of CBE for WASSCE is doable. We are moving into the digital world and any innovation that will add value is good. This is the pilot, which will be used to look at the pros and cons. This is done globally and WAEC does not want to be left behind.”He reiterated that it would work well since WAEC already said it would be used in the urban centres first.“Gradually, it will transcend to the school-based candidates and it will help curtail the issue of examination malpractice,” Ibrahim said.
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