The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) following public uproar about the Basic Education Certificate Examination Certificate (BECE) grading system has explained the criteria for the aggregates of the various subjects.
In a discussion monitored by AcademicWeek, the Head of the Legal Department for WAEC, Victor Brew, said the claim that the not-for-profit-making organization (WAEC) deliberately mark down students from private schools is untrue.
“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,” the WAEC official said in an interview.
Citing why private schools always cry foul over the marking of BECE scripts, he said “they 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 explained.
The WAEC staff added that though the best student in a particular school may score higher during the mock exams however the student is likely to get lower marks when he/she is ranked 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.
Mr 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.”
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) lawyer assured that the management of his outfit will have some stakeholder engagement with the various private and public schools to educate them on the BECE grading system,.