The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has strongly opposed the West African Examinations Council’s (WAEC) decision to shift the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for Private Candidates from traditional paper and pencil tests to computer-based examinations. In a recent statement, WAEC announced that the transition would commence with the 2024 first series of WASSCE for private candidates, with a long-term goal of conducting all its examinations digitally.
Dr. Mike Ike-Ene, the Secretary-General of the NUT, expressed significant reservations about the preparedness of the Nigerian basic education sector for this shift. Speaking with our correspondent, Ike-Ene highlighted challenges such as the lack of computers in schools, inconsistent electricity supply, and unreliable internet networks, which could hinder the success of the proposed computer-based examinations (CBE).
“The NUT acknowledges the importance of ICT, but there is a significant challenge concerning this WAEC CBE. Assuming all schools in Nigeria have internet connections is a misguided assumption; most do not. Hastily adopting decisions is not prudent; we often tend to replicate ideas that prove unworkable,” Ike-Ene asserted.
The Secretary-General emphasized crucial issues, including security concerns in schools and the financial strain on educational institutions to maintain and repair computers. He questioned the feasibility of the proposal, particularly in schools lacking essential infrastructure and resources. Ike-Ene stressed that, before completely eliminating traditional paper-based testing, students and educators must first acquire sufficient computer literacy.
“I can acknowledge that a shift to computer-based examinations is a positive development in Nigeria, but computer literacy is a prerequisite. In schools that don’t receive imprest, how will they handle computer repairs? Is it fair to expect students to contribute money for such repairs?” he queried.
As Nigeria grapples with challenges related to educational infrastructure, security, and financial constraints, the NUT urges a cautious and thoughtful approach before implementing such a substantial transformation in examination methodology.
Our Twitter Page