The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), has explained the disparities that have characterised the National Grading System for Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates.
There has been an uproar on social media since WAEC released the 2022 BECE results on January 25, 2023. Some parents as well as some schools have alleged that their brilliant wards and students who wrote the mock exams performed remarkably, but had lower marks when the BECE results were released.
Speaking on Citi Breakfast Show, the Head of the Legal Department for WAEC, Reverend Victor Brew, admitted that his outfit has received similar complaints but denied that they deliberately marked down students from the private schools.
“We have actually heard [about] it and not only heard about it but some schools have approached us. We engaged them and when we explained the grading system to them, they understood it,” Rev Brew said.
He explained that the private schools use their school population samples to determine the performance of their students forgetting that they are competing with students at the national level when they take part in the BECE.
“What is happening is like the local league and national league or world cup or international league. So in your school, the boy/girl who is good scores 80 something, but you are using only your school as the sample size of the population. And you are using the raw score only, when you get to pitch your candidate’s strength, or your best student, against the whole country, then you get to know that there is a moderation of the continuous assessment across the board for all schools, and there is what they call the total assessment score, and there’s the correlation,” Rev. Brew further explained.
He added that though the best student in a particular school may score higher during the mock exams, the student is likely to get lower marks when he/she is pitched against the best national students.
“It’s not just as simple that you do mock in your exams and score. You now have to pitch your best student against each other and then you have to go to the national level and pitch the strength of your candidate against the national best student in each subject,” he clarified.
Reverend Brew stressed that “there’s a national educational assessment policy which is not that of the WAEC, that states that the best 4% in any subject, so let’s say Mathematics, Mathematics is not a subject that is subjective like English, but Mathematics, somebody can get 100%. You did mock four times in your school, and your candidate gets 86%, but you went national and you had the best of the best against your best, so you get 98%, 99%. You just have to pray that your 86% falls within the 4% range which is the grade 1”.
He assured that WAEC will have some engagements with the various schools to clear any doubts.
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