On the 20th March 2019 a high-level delegation from the West African Examination Council, WAEC briefed His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio at State House, on the Council’s ongoing 67th Annual Meeting in Freetown.
Chairman of the Council, Baboucarr Bouy, said they were happy about meeting the President despite his busy schedules and expressed appreciation to the Government for hosting the 67th Session in Sierra Leone, saying that without the Government’s support the Meeting would not have been possible.
He recalled that during their last meeting with the President they spoke about concerns from both Government and the Council regarding the issue of integrity around the conduct of public examinations. He further disclosed that the Council had mobilized the necessary resources and manpower that would enable them to conduct the examinations in a manner that would maintain the integrity of the Council, the governing body and certifying authority of public examinations in West Africa.
Mr. Bouy also re-emphasized that they were poised to continue ensuring leakage and malpractice free examinations. He, however, expressed fears about the challenges the Council faced with the new technology, which they must be ready to handle, adding that even though they helped in the conduct of examinations, the new technologies were also presenting challenges in a way that resources meant to be spent in other areas were being deployed to avoid potentials of malpractices.
“I want to remind Your Excellency Sir that we have raised the issue of financial resources to WAEC and we are happy to inform that the Government of Sierra Leone has started to take action and we want to further appeal that you use your office to help us deal with this. The new technology that is actually presenting big challenges to the examinations is what is responsible for the high cost on the running of our examinations,” he said.
On his part, President Bio thanked the management of the Council for their efforts in keeping the sub-region ahead in terms of education. He said his government’s flagship programme was human capital development of which free quality education was an important component. He said the integrity of examinations was very important and that his Government was happy to host the 67th Annual Meeting.
“For us, the integrity of our examinations is very paramount and you are directly in charge of that. So, you have a role to play. We want to assure you that whatever we can do, to support WAEC to make sure that the integrity of our examinations is maintained, we will do. We have to make sure we continue to work hard and provide the best quality education for our children.
“Of course, there are challenges with technology but those are challenges that we should try to surmount because they are going to keep increasing as new technologies are coming up every day. So, we have to chase them as quickly as possible otherwise they will affect the quality of examinations and education,” he urged.