Home Latest News ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF COUNCIL, DR. D. EVELYN S. KANDAKAI, AT THE FORMAL OPENING OF THE 65TH ANNUAL COUNCIL MEETING IN ABUJA, NIGERIA ON TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2017

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ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF COUNCIL, DR. D. EVELYN S. KANDAKAI, AT THE FORMAL OPENING OF THE 65TH ANNUAL COUNCIL MEETING IN ABUJA, NIGERIA ON TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2017 PDF Print E-mail

Your Excellency, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Honourable Minister of Education and other Ministers

Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps

Vice Chairman of Council

Leaders of Delegation and Chief Government Nominees of Council 

The Registrar to Council

Members of Council

Former Chairmen of Council

Former Registrars to Council

Staff of Council

School Authorities and Students

Media representatives

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

It is an honour for me to welcome you all to the formal opening of the 65th Annual Council Meeting of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). I heartily welcome you, Mr. Vice President, representing His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR. We sincerely appreciate the great honour of your presence, Mr. Vice President, particularly your gracious acceptance of our humble invitation to declare open the 65th Annual Council Meeting.

Council is the governing board of the West African Examinations Council. It is made up of members from The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone which are the five member countries of the organization. Membership of Council includes government nominees, representatives of Universities, Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools, and other interests. It meets annually to review the activities and operations of its various committees and national offices in the five member countries. At its annual meeting, Council ratifies the decisions taken on its behalf by its committees the previous year and deliberates on action plans for successful operations and activities in the following year.

The West African Examinations Council received a tripartite mandate at inception in 1952. It was mandated to determine the examinations required in the public interest in Anglophone West African Countries, to conduct such examinations and to award certificates of international standard to deserving candidates in the examinations. In the course of performing its functions, the Council also assists in the development of sound education, ensures that educational standards are maintained and gives the people of the sub-region a vision of the great potentials that lie beyond examinations.  No doubt, WAEC has creditably executed its functions by successfully meeting the educational aspirations of its teeming clientele across the sub-region for sixty five years.

For the impressive scorecard that it flaunts in the comity of educational assessment institutions, WAEC owes a lot of gratitude to the governments and good people of its member nations. I therefore, wish to use the opportunity provided by this illustrious occasion to express appreciation to all stakeholders in education for the huge amounts of funding, human and material resources, which have gone into the Council’s operations and activities for 65 years. I also wish to appeal for greater cooperation, support, encouragement and goodwill to give the Council assurances of further successes, achievements and continued existence in the years ahead. The Council highly relies on such support.

Your Excellency, in the member countries, WAEC conducts the international West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), various national examinations that are peculiar to each country and aptitude or selection tests. Unfortunately, each of these examinations is bedeviled by poor performance and the activities of cheats and fraudsters. The poor performance of candidates in public examinations has remained worrisome to stakeholders in education. Improving the performance of candidates should be a goal for all of us. The Research Department of WAEC has conducted studies on this and other important educational issues in the member countries. Reports of these studies conducted by the Research Department are made available to stakeholders through the Council’s publications and websites, a case in point being the WAEC Examiners’ Reports.

The Council’s Research Department also organises seminars in each member country as a platform for experts to discuss topical issues which are germane to the development of education. The Council provides statistical data and Chief Examiners’ Reports on each examination conducted in each member country to guide teachers and students in their preparation for examinations and to assist government departments and agencies in educational planning and policy implementation. WAEC provides consultancy services in the member countries using the skillful and experienced professionals available within its workforce. I encourage our member governments as well as organisations, agencies and institutions in our member countries to utilize the services provided by WAEC at the respective National Offices. These services are sometimes under-utilized.

The WAEC family is fortunate to have in its membership the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigeria is a dependable backbone which provides strength and stability for the entire WAEC family. About 80% of the total candidature for WASSCE, the examination common to all WAEC countries, each year is registered in Nigeria and because candidates’ population in each country is a crucial parameter in the apportionment of the Headquarters budget, Nigeria is apportioned a significant proportion of the budget. I am pleased to disclose to this august gathering that Nigeria has been playing its role creditably in the sustenance of the Council. The Federal Government of Nigeria has fulfilled its financial commitments to the Headquarters and the Nigeria National Office of the Council up to date. Permit me to use this opportunity to appeal to other member countries, who have made some efforts but need to redouble these efforts owing the Council huge backlogs of contributions and subventions to emulate this good and encouraging gesture by Nigeria in the years ahead.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, at this ceremony, various awards will be presented to deserving candidates and personalities in the member countries under the auspices of the WAEC Endowment Fund.  I heartily congratulate all the award winners and their families. I also recognize with commendation the Speaker of the 22nd Endowment Fund Lecture, Professor Amos Shaibu who delivered an inspiring and well-researched lecture yesterday. I wish to assure all stakeholders in education that the recommendations made in the lecture will be given the deserved attention, particularly those that fall under the purview of WAEC.

Let me amplify a bit on this last point, that is, giving the lectures’ recommendations the deserved attention. Education in more ancient or former times was characterized as education for education’s sake and for a few. In an era of mass education, it is good, even great, that we give more seriousness to the implementation of the recommendations made by our Endowment lecturers instead of only being ardent listeners providing applause. For instance, one of the former lecturers recommended that WAEC derive an examination for international civil servants, diplomats and the like which is under serious consideration and which idea has been broached by me to the current Chair of ECOWAS, Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and which requires cooperation from ECOWAS and other similar bodies.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of Council I once again thank the Government and people of Nigeria for accepting to host the 65th Annual Council Meeting. I appreciate also all individuals, institutions and corporate organizations that have contributed to the successful hosting of this meeting in Abuja.

I thank you all and God bless.

 

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