The Meaning of ‘WAEC’ and the Motto; Your Failure Is Our Success?

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to me has gradually transformed itself into an institution which is increasingly making the lives of students and parents traumatic. That is why I now call them the Wicked Adults Envious of Children (WAEC).

Students are being punished for offences they had no hand in. For example, when an official or employee of WAEC leaks examination questions, the students are rather punished. Their papers are cancelled and they have to go through the stress of re-sitting the exams. What I never hear is WAEC dismissing or arresting an employee for leaking examination questions.

What angered me recently was when I saw the Principal Public Relations Officer at WAEC, Mrs. Agnes Teye-Cudjoe on TV saying from next year candidates who have in their possession mobile phones will have their entire results cancelled. Cancelling the entire results of a candidate for using a mobile phone in the examination hall is too harsh. The particular subject paper in which a candidate is seen using a mobile phone is what WAEC should withhold.

As far as I’m aware, candidates are searched before they enter the examination hall. Therefore if a candidate is able to sneak in foreign material into the examination hall, then the invigilators or supervisors should also be punished. Again if candidates “copy” then it stands to reason that the supervisor or invigilator is suspect.

Seems to me WAEC does not care about the future of our kids. The adults at WAEC are behaving like they have never been kids before. If the Adults at WAEC were punished severely in this manner when they were young, I’m not sure they will find themselves in such privileged positions.

WAEC should also have a means by which innocent students can appeal. Punishments are meted out with no regard for innocent students. Some students may not have been part of those who were caught cheating but WAEC sometimes cancels the results of an entire school. Looks to me that WAEC wants to adopt the motto “Your Failure is Our Success”.

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Punishments are meant to reform people not to destroy them. Therefore WAEC should be looking at ways of punishing our kids who do wrong and also assisting them to reform. One can only imagine the pain these kids go through when their results are cancelled especially if they were innocent.

Candidates who have their results cancelled should be required to seek counselling so that they can have lessons on study skills, time management and honesty. These counselling sessions should be under the auspices of WAEC.

Instead of having the entire results of students cancelled, I think WAEC should be looking at having these unfortunate children sit for a new exam of comparable difficulty.

The point must be made clear that I’m not in any way defending candidates who do wrong. But should we punish the young ones in such a severe manner?