Your Excellency, President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Ghana
Honourable Minister of Education
Regional Minister for the Greater Accra Region
The Chairperson of Council
The Vice Chairperson of Council
Your Worship, the Mayor of Accra
Leaders of Delegation and Chief Government Nominees on Council
Your Excellences, Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Distinguished Friends of Council
Former Chairmen of Council
Former Registrars to Council
Former Heads of National Office
Staff of the Council
Esteemed Guests
Members of the Fourth Estate
Ladies and Gentlemen

I most heartily welcome you all to the Formal Opening of the 64th Annual Meeting of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). I am particularly delighted to welcome the Chief Host of the meeting, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, who has shelved some pressing state assignments to grace this occasion. We appreciate you, Mr. President, for the honour done our flagship organization by your presence in our midst on this occasion. I convey to this august gathering warm greetings from the Management and Staff of WAEC in The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

We commend the Government of Ghana for the impeccable arrangements made for the successful hosting of this 64th Annual Council Meeting. We appreciate the good people of Ghana for the warm reception accorded the delegates. Those of us who reside in Ghana have whispered to the visiting delegates that they will find their brief stay in the country a worthwhile experience. I also take this opportunity to encourage them to interact freely with the warm and highly hospitable inhabitants of Accra, move round the city for shopping or visiting places of historical importance, savour the unbeatable tastes of assorted Ghanaian dishes and enjoy the melody of the popular Ghanaian highlife music. Once again, I welcome all the delegates to Accra, the Gateway to Africa.

Your Excellency, hosting of the Annual Council Meeting obeys a rotational arrangement agreed upon by the Governments of the Member Countries. The scheduled host for the meeting in 2015 was Liberia. This year it is the turn of Ghana. Nigeria will be the host next year, followed by The Gambia in 2018 and Sierra Leone in 2019.
Each of the five member countries of WAEC has the Council’s National Office located in the capital city.  The city of Accra however, has the unique privilege of hosting the Council’s International Headquarters, in addition to the Ghana National Office. Every five years when Ghana takes her turn to host the Annual Council Meeting, for a whole week Accra is placed in the enviable position of having the presence of the Headquarters, the National Office and the entire WAEC family ably represented by the Council Members who are delegates to the Meeting. I observe that this is a situation that the Government and people of Ghana have cherished very much over the years and for which they have now made adequate preparations, as usual.

Your Excellency, the main examinations conducted by WAEC in the five member countries are the international and the national examinations.  In addition, the Council conducts aptitude and selection tests as well as examinations on behalf of other examining boards.  During the last couple of years, school calendar were disrupted in some member countries due to the various measures adopted by the governments to eradicate the Ebola virus disease. During the period, concerted efforts were made by WAEC and the respective ministries of education of the affected countries to ensure that all the scheduled examinations of the Council were conducted.  The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone presented candidates for the May/June and November/December 2015 editions of the Council’s international examination - the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). In addition, The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia presented candidates for various national examinations. The Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) was conducted in The Gambia, Ghana and Sierra Leone while candidates in Liberia sat the Senior High School Certificate Examination. Also, the Council offered the General Business Certificate Examination (GBCE) and the Advanced Business Certificate Examination (ABCE) to candidates in Ghana, conducted the National Primary School Examination (NPSE) in Sierra Leone and administered the National Assessment Test (NAT) in The Gambia.

The WASSCE was patronized by a total of 2,313,906 candidates across the Sub-region in 2015. This figure was made up of 1,908,074 school candidates and 405,832 private candidates. Out of the total candidature, The Gambia registered 14,877 candidates (or 0.64%); Ghana presented 411,702 candidates (or 17.79%); Sierra Leone enrolled 40,544 candidates (or 1.75%) while Nigeria had 1,846,783 candidates (or 79.81%). The ongoing piloting of the examination in Liberia was temporarily interrupted in 2015.
The Council’s main national examinations were conducted for a total of 705,654 candidates in 2015, out of which 84,245 candidates (or 11.94%) enrolled in The Gambia, 443,111 (or 62.79%) in Ghana, 3,846 (or 0.55%) in Liberia and 174,452 (or 24.72%) in Sierra Leone. WAEC has not been involved in the conduct of national examination in Nigeria.
The aptitude and selection tests that the Council conducted in 2015 were taken by 29,761 testees from various public and private institutions in the member countries. A total of 165 testees sat the tests in Ghana, 1,288 testees in Liberia and 28,308 testees in Nigeria.
In summary, the overall total candidature for the Council’s WASSCE, national examinations and aptitude/selection tests in 2015 was 3,049,321. This figure however, showed an overall decrease of 7.05% below the 2014 figure of 3,280,594.

Your Excellency, irregularities were reported in the Council’s examinations in all the member countries during the reporting period. The fight against the malaise is ongoing, as the National Offices have continued to evolve new strategies while intensifying the existing ones that are found effective to discourage or apprehend the perpetrators. ICT software and electronic devices are being deployed at examination halls, marking venues and processing centres as part of the war efforts. The Stakeholders’ Dialogue on Examination Malpractice which is being held by WAEC across the sub-region is aimed at placing the issue of examination fraud on the agenda for national discourse in the years ahead. I take this opportunity, on behalf of the WAEC Secretariat, to appreciate the Board of Trustees of the WAEC Endowment Fund for its financial assistance towards the hosting of the Dialogue. I also appreciate the Council Members who have participated actively in the Dialogue or assisted to ensure its success in their respective countries. I urge our member governments and other stakeholders in education to take cognizance of the issues raised and strategies suggested at the Dialogue in their policy formulation and implementation against examination fraud.

During the year under review, non-payment of Subvention by some Member Governments brought untold hardship to the affected National Offices, as the offices resorted to seeking assistance from sister offices or reducing their participation in vital activities of the Council. Payment of Contribution to the Headquarters and Subvention to the respective National Offices is obligatory and should be given greater attention than it currently receives. I must however, be quick to acknowledge the fact that this past year some of our member countries went through daunting challenges that put further pressure on their trickling revenues. Despite this situation, the various governments, including the Government of Ghana, did not relegate WAEC in the scheme of things. They made visible efforts to provide the needed funds and equipment for the Council to continue to function efficiently. I therefore, wish to place on record the Council’s sincere appreciation to our Member Governments, as I also humbly urge them to do more in the year ahead to offset any indebtedness to the Council.

Your Excellency, the WAEC Endowment Fund was inaugurated during the Council’s 30th anniversary celebrations in March 1982. The Fund was to, among other functions, promote educational projects of an international nature, provide awards to individuals and institutions for outstanding contribution to the Council’s work and give prizes for outstanding performance by candidates in the Council’s examinations.  At this ceremony, three candidates will receive the WAEC Excellence Awards for their outstanding performance in the May/June 2015 WASSCE.  The candidates are Miss Jessica Ayeley Quaye (1st Prize), Miss Ruth Ewura-Ama Awadzi (2nd Prize) and Miss Danielle Amo-Mensah (3rd Prize). The three candidates, all Ghanaians, were selected from a total of 1,883,775 candidates who sat the May/June 2015 WASSCE in The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria.

The Augustus Bandele Oyediran Award for the Best Candidate in West Africa will also be presented to Miss Jessica Ayeley Quaye.

Similarly, at this ceremony, the prestigious Award of Distinguished Friend of Council will be conferred on an illustrious citizen of Ghana, Prof. Anthony A. Adimado, in appreciation of his years of positive contribution to the work of WAEC.

I heartily felicitate with all the award winners and members of their families.

Yesterday, the WAEC Endowment Fund Lecture titled Performance in Mathematics and Science: Breaking the Jinxwhich is the 21st in the series of lectures, was delivered by Professor Jonathan A. Fletcher of Ghana. I join a host of other listeners to commend the lecturer for the eloquence and depth of knowledge demonstrated in the delivery of that masterpiece.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we are grateful to the Almighty God for the successes of WAEC, for preserving us all and for the relative peace in most parts of our sub-region. I join other patriotic citizens of the sub-region to pray for peaceful and successful elections this year in The Gambia, Ghana and America.

I wish to express appreciation to our Member Governments for the support, assistance and encouragement which WAEC has continued to receive in the execution of its mandate in their respective countries. We are grateful to the Ministers of Education as well as the Permanent Secretaries, Chief Directors, Directors-General, Directors and other Professional Officers in the respective ministries of education for their contribution to the success of the Council’s operations through their ministries, departments and agencies.

I appreciate the Principals of secondary schools and their Teachers who work tirelessly as examiners, item writers, moderators, supervisors and invigilators to ensure the hitch-free conduct of WAEC examinations. I appreciate also the various ICT service providers who are behind the success story of the Council’s ICT deployment in service delivery.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you all for gracing this Formal Opening of the 64th Annual Council Meeting.

God bless you all.


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