Appraising students’ performance in recent WASSC Examinations
The council responsible for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) released the May/June 2019 results in July 2019. The results of the examination taken in the five countries that formed the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) showed that a total 1,596,161 candidates registered for the May/June WASSCE in 18,639 recognised secondary schools in Nigeria in 2019.
A total of 1,309,570 candidates representing 82.04 per cent of the candidates who sat for the exam obtained a minimum of 5 credit passes with or without English Language and/or mathematics. Of this number, 507,862 representing 49.77 per cent were male candidates while the remaining 512,657 (50.23 per cent) were female candidates. However, 5,988 registered candidates did not sit for the exam.
From the analysis, 64.18 per cent of the 1,590,173 candidates (822,098 males and 768,075 females) who sat for the examination obtained 5 credits including mathematics and English Language in 2019. This is a 16.97 percentage improvement in the candidates’ performance in comparison to 2018 performance. On the contrary, 180,205 candidates representing 11.33 per cent of the total number of candidates who sat for the WASSC Examination have their results withheld for further investigation by the council owing to reported cases of examination malpractices.
Female candidates outperformed their male counterparts in obtaining a minimum of five credit passes including English Language and Mathematics—this is, 512,657 female candidates and 507,862 male candidates. Also, 1,918 candidates with varying special needs are among the 1,596,161 candidates who registered for the May/June WASSC Examination. Out of the 1,918 candidates, 299 candidates were visually challenged; 842 candidates have impaired hearing; 85 candidates were physically challenged; 158 candidates had low vision while 75 candidates were spasticcum mentally challenged.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed declining trends in the number of those who sat for the examination as well as the minimum credits passed including English Language; minimum credits passed including mathematics and minimum credits passed including mathematics and English Language within the last three consecutive years.
The performance trend showed that the total number of candidates who sat for the examination dropped by 1.4 per cent from 1.72 million candidates in 2016 to 1.69 million candidates in 2017; it further declined by 0.60 percent from 1.69 million candidates in 2017 to 1.68 million candidates in 2018.
The total number of candidates who had minimum of 5 credit passes including English Language represented in the chart by “C* English” reduced by 3.09 per cent to 1.01 million candidates in 2017 and a further significant decline of 11.64 per cent to 896,191 candidates in 2018.
Although, the total number of candidates who had minimum of 5 credit passes including mathematics represented in the chart by “C*Mathematics” increased by a whooping 12.21 per cent to 1.15 million candidates in 2017. However, the total number of “C*Mathematics” declined by 3.79 per cent in 2018 which is higher than “C*Mathematics” in 2016 by 81,491 results.
The analysis revealed further that the total number of candidates who had minimum of 5 credit passes including mathematics and English Language represented in the chart by “C*Maths & Eng” increased from 870,857 candidates in the year 2016 to 913,039 candidates in 2017. However, this figure took a negative turn as the “C*Maths & Eng” reduced significantly by 13.05 per cent to 793,910 candidates in 2018.
Source: NBS, BRIU
Overall, the performance of candidates who sat for the examination and who obtained a minimum of 5 credit passes with: English Language; with mathematics, and with mathematics and English Language, from 2017 to 2018 dropped by 0.60 per cent, 11.64 per cent. 3.79 per cent and 13.05 per cent respectively.
In 2018, over 1.57 million candidates comprising 822,941 males and 748,595 females sat for WASSCE in public schools as against 1.56 million candidates in the previous year. From the lot, 849,069 of the candidates had 5 credits and above including English Language; 1.06 million candidates had 5 credits and above including Mathematics while 756,726 candidates representing 48.15 per cent of the total candidates who sat for the examination had 5 credits and above including Mathematics & English Language.
Similarly in 2018, 109,798 candidates representing a decline of 17.60 per cent sat for the WASSCE in private schools compared with the number of candidates who sat for the examination in 2017. Also, 54,417 of these candidates were males while the remaining 55,561 candidates were females. The result released by WAEC showed that 47,122 of the candidates had 5 credits and above including English Language; 47,434 had 5 credits and above including Mathematics while 37,184 of the candidates representing 33.81 per cent of the total candidates who sat for the examination had 5 credits and above including Mathematics & English Language.
Source: NBS, BRIU
Regionally, the South West region generally recorded the highest influx of candidates that sat for the WASSC examination as well as those who are represented in “C*English”, “C*Mathematics” and “C*Maths & Eng” in 2018.
On a state by state basis, among the top 5 states with the highest number of people who sat for WASSC Examination in 2018, Lagos State had the highest, 210,717 number of candidates in public and private schools. It was followed by Ogun State with 113,833 candidates; Kaduna, 82, 168 candidates; Oyo, 74,386 candidates and Rivers State recorded 71,192 candidates who sat for the examination.