Home Education Arewa Youths Voice Concerns Over WAEC’s Shift to Computer-Based Tests, Say it’ll Result in Mass Failure
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Arewa Youths Voice Concerns Over WAEC’s Shift to Computer-Based Tests, Say it’ll Result in Mass Failure

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The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYFC) has raised concerns about the proposed Computer-Based Test format for the forthcoming West African Examinations Council examinations to be conducted in Nigeria.

Recall that in November 2023, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) announced a shift from the traditional paper and pencil test to CBT mode for the Senior School Certificate Examinations.

“The innovation will commence with WASSCE for Private Candidates, 2024- First Series, which is slated to be held in February 2024. While the objective test will be fully Computer Based, the Essay and Test of Practical papers will be hybrid, in which the examination questions will be delivered on screen and candidates required to write the answers on the answer booklets given to them”, WAEC’s acting head of the Public Affairs Unit, Moyosola Adesina explained.

Speaking in Kaduna on Friday, the national president of the Arewa youth forum, Yerima Shettima, asserted that the CBT mode would result in mass failure, especially in rural northern areas lacking computer skills.

Mr Shettima expressed dissatisfaction with the mandatory nature of the CBT exams, advocating for an optional approach to allow students to choose the format they are comfortable with. He highlighted the challenges faced by students in northern states, citing a lack of computer education in public schools.

The AYFC, based on its research in states like Zamfara, Jigawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Nasarawa, and Plateau, claimed that CBT exams consistently led to high failure rates due to inadequate computer skills.

In his words, “Even the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board – CBT exam has placed underprivileged students in a predicament as they struggle to answer questions in an unfamiliar format.

“Many students who failed the CBT-based JAMB exams last year argued that their failures were a result of systemic failures, including insufficient facilities or network failures during the exams.

“Additionally, a lack of proper and adequate computer skills, coupled with outdated desktop computers that are not properly maintained by CBT centres, further exacerbated the situation.

“As the exams are timed, these delays significantly hinder the performance of students who otherwise possess sufficient knowledge of the content,” he stated.

Shettima urged relevant stakeholders, including the Ministry of Education, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, the Christian Association of Nigeria, the National Association of Nigerian Students, and civil society organizations, to reject the planned CBT exams. According to him, the AYFC is ready to collaborate with stakeholders to find alternatives to ensure a level playing field for all students.

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