Saturday, March 13, 2010


NEWS BANJUL, THE GAMBIA(MB)-The Gambia national office of the West African Examination Council, WAEC, yesterday unveiled its new website at a ceremony held at the WAEC Office on Marina Parade, Banjul.

Speaking at the gathering, the acting head of the WAEC national office, Mr. Felix U. Okoroafor noted that the importance of ICTs in the educational service delivery cannot be overemphasized. According to him, the West Africa Examinations Council as a pioneer of excellence and currently the foremost examination delivery body in West Africa cannot but set its examination operations on a more efficient course.

He emphasized the need to improve on their service delivery system so that all member countries of the council embrace the ICT mode of operations and redefine the way they do almost everything, adding that the system stimulates rapid development and enhances community involvement in education.

He further cited that the launching of ICT by WAEC’s Banjul office will go further to prove that WAEC’s responsibilities extend beyond just preparing candidates for examinations but also guiding the students towards a successful outing.

Mr. Okoroafor revealed that it will also expose them to ICT basic skills and reduce all the stress involved in the registration of candidates for WAEC examination and the processing of results.

His words: “The council is very much aware of the mad chase for paper qualification which invariably leads to the adoption of fair and foul means for which WAEC has been unjustly blamed.”

He noted that the sub regional examination body will continue researching on the best method of assessing candidates in addition to being attentive and responsive to the problems and challenges facing the society. He added that it is worth noting that the West African Examination Council has already proven itself capable of adapting to changes in its research experiences on ICT, which will continue to benefit the Gambia and other member countries.

For her part, Mrs. Fatou Njie, chairperson of the The Gambia National Committee of the Council said the launching of the WAEC corporate website would make online registration and result checking easy. She said this highlights the WAEC website as more than a mere embracing of ICT.

She said: “Information equals knowledge and knowledge equals power, the realization and the launch of this new website embodies WAEC’s unwavering quest in ensuring that its multi-faceted range of stakeholders and beneficiaries from school candidates, private candidates and organizations can have easy access to much needed information from WAEC.”

Also speaking at the event, Mr. Baboucarr Boye, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, said the new WAEC website will help enhance service delivery for those standing as candidates in its examinations as well as all others involved in one way or the other with the Council. He added that this will especially be the case in areas like examination registration, administration of the exams, registering students/candidates in schools or locations where there is no internet access and the integration of registration data.

Mr. Boye said this occasion marks another milestone in the annals of history of WAEC in The Gambia in its quest for excellence in education. He said since August 2004, the Banjul office of WAEC signed an agreement with Fleet Technologies Ltd. for the provision of direct access online information services for a period of ten years and the programme entails the provision of a functional system with which pre-tertiary students can register for most of the examinations administered by the council.

Mr. Boye further emphasised that the launching of the website will ensure effective collection of examination registration data that conforms with the required format, increase the turn-around time for the processing of examination registration data, reduction in the overhead cost of handling examination registrations and more effective and efficient ways of processing examination registration.

The permanent secretary noted that since the establishment of the Council in 1952, it has successfully weathered so many challenging storms and it is keeping faith with its vision of being a world class examination body that adds value of the educational goal of its numerous stakeholders. He added that the council has been burdened with its paper based-operations and its attendant problems. According to him, to address these, efforts have been intensified for the council to explore and exploit the advantages of technology. He said this launching is the outcome of the different efforts made by WAEC in The Gambia to align itself with modern trends in examination and result checking.

“In addition to improving the council’s services to the candidates and other stakeholders, it will also serve as a catalyst for making WAEC in Banjul a reference point among the comity of examination bodies within and outside The Gambia.

He pointed out that it will also move the council away from its hitherto paper based operations to technology-based whose advantages far surpasses its disadvantages. He then enjoined all principals, Teachers, Examiners and other stakeholders in education to assist WAEC in her efforts to conduct hitch-free examination. This, they could do by adhering strictly to the operations of the new system.

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