President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has described the West African Examination Council (WAEC) as an invaluable partner and beacon of regional co-operation and integration.
The President made this assertion, when he formally declared open the 60th Annual Meeting of the Examination body, on Tuesday, in Abuja.
President Jonathan, represented by Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, at the occasion, said “you stand as an enduring example of exciting possibilities that lie in wait for us in our region if we muster the requisite vision and political will to leverage on the huge potential that abound,” noting that Nigerian had always been at the vanguard of sub-regional and regional cooperation.
Commending the management of WAEC for keeping to the vision of its founding fathers, he charged them to champion the cause against exam-malpractice, saying “your Council cannot afford to spare any
effort in the fight against the spectre of examination malpractice.”
The President stressed that Nigeria on her part would not spare anybody caught engaged in the despicable act, stating “this is a demonstration of our Administration’s Zero-tolerance policy with respect
to corruption in all its ramifications.”
“We want to provide the requisite environment for our youth to maximise their creativity and productive potentials. We want to make education more easily accessible for our youth. We want to improve the quality of education on offer. We want to make education relevant to the needs of our nation,” he said.
President Jonathan used the occasion to assure WAEC of Nigeria’s continued support in the body’s efforts at upholding the integrity and credibility of examination process.
In her remarks, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I, disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Education and WAEC had been partnering towards re-positioning the secondary school sector in Nigeria, which had begun to bear fruits. She urged for increased support for the Council by governments, at all levels.
The Chairman of the governing body of WAEC, Prof. Jonas Redwood-Sawyerr described Nigeria as an esteemed member of the WAEC family, saying that the country’s vast population was a source of strength and her great human and material potentials are available for the Council to continue to tap from in the discharge of its mandate.
The Registrar of WAEC Alhaja (Mrs.) Mulikat Bello in her address noted that the meeting which was the 60th in the series, coincided with the Diamond Anniversary of the examination body. She stated that WAEC with an initial entry figure of 718 candidates at inception had reached the 3 million mark in 2011, adding that the services of the Council were ICT driven. Mrs. Bello stated that in the 60 years of the Council it remained
one of the most credible and strongest chords that bind together the member countries that constitute the body, particularly in the education sector.
Highlights of the occasion were the presentation of awards by Vice president Mohammed Namadi Sambo to deserving personality’s candidates and institutions. Miss Sakyi Ann Abena Antwiwaa (Ghana) won the WAEC
International Excellence Award, while Miss Adeloye Christianah Ope (Nigeria) won the WAEC National Distinction Award. The Agustus Bandele Oyediran Award for best performing School in Nigeria went to Lumen Christi International High School, Uromi, Edo State.
WAEC was established in 1952 to conduct examination for English speaking West African Countries, namely: Nigeria, Gambia, Sierra Leon, Ghana and Liberia. The hosting of the Annual Council meeting is rotated among the five member countries. Nigeria last hosted the meeting in 2007. The meeting has the theme “The West African Examination Council: Sixty years of Commitment to Excellence in Education Assessment.”
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