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West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says efforts at making inroads into the neighboring non-WAEC member countries such as the Republic of Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali have paid off.

The outgoing Registrar to the council, Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, disclosed this at his valedictory media and launch of the council’s teleconference facility on Wednesday in Lagos.

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Uwadiae, who would retire after seven years of holding office as the Registrar on Sept. 30, said that more schools and candidates in those non-WAEC member countries had been attracted to the council’s examination.

According to him, the development is a major breakthrough for the council, among other achievements during his tenure.

Giving an account of his stewardship, he said that in an effort to satisfy the educational aspirations of some other stakeholders in the five member-countries, the WAEC Secretariat in Ghana successfully introduced additional diets of the WASSCE and BECE for private candidates.

“We introduced in the private candidates’ examinations, a facility for admitting on-the-spot candidates who were unable to enroll within the designated registration period.

“We also created `Attestation of Results’ which is a replacement as good as the original, to alleviate the challenges faced by former candidates whose original certificates are missing or destroyed,’’ he said.

The Registrar said that the council, during his tenure, had remained focused on full migration into the digital administration of examinations, and the march toward the ultimate goal had progressed significantly.

“To this end, WAEC-owned Computer Based Test (CBT) installations have continued to spring up for use by the council and public/private institutions/organizations, while e-marking software and equipment have been deployed for the marking of selected subject papers.

“The secretariat too has paid a deserved attention to the issue of examination leakages and resolved to settle for nothing short of total eradication of the nuisance.

“Other types of malpractice also received our deepest reflection, as the council constructed or furnished for use, its own standard/model examination halls in places like Lagos and Benin City in Nigeria, Accra, Cape Coast, Wa and Koforidua in Ghana as well as Tubmanburg in Liberia,’’ he said.

According to him, the council has been relentless in the deployment of technology in its operations and activities, and with its use, built tighter security around its examination materials and conduct.

He said that various gadgets and software were deployed for identification of candidates, capturing of data and detection of irregularities at examination centres.

Uwadiae said that constrained papers were also introduced to stifle cheating at the examinations.

The Registrar said that the council had sustained the culture of paperless meetings with the preparations and circulation of electronic folders for all committee and staff meetings across the five member-countries”