This is very good news for the education sector and the nation in general.
In what is clearly its best result in the last 10 years, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) on Monday in Lagos announced a 59.22 percent pass rate in the 2017 May/June West African Senior School Examinations (WASSCE).
This result is a huge leap from the poorest result of 2008 record of 13.76 pass rate in the number of candidates with pass in five subjects including English Language and Mathematics and three other subjects.
In view of this, the 2017 result may signal a complete departure from the era of mass failure that characterises the performance of Nigerian candidates in the regional examination.
Olu Adenipekun, Head of the National Office (HNO), addressing newsmen at the WAEC office in Yaba Lagos said a total of 923,486 candidates representing 59.22 percent obtained minimum of credits in five subjects and above, including English Language and Mathematics.
According to him, there is a slight improvement in the performance of candidates that sat for the examination as percentage of candidates in this category in WASSCE for 2015 and 2016 were 38.68 percent and 52.97 percent, respectively.
A look at the result in the last 10 years showed that candidates that sat for the examination between 2007 and 2011 had a pass rate of 25.54, 13.76, 25.99, 24.98, and 30.70 percent, respectively.
In what appeared to be the period of marked improvement by candidates from Nigeria, the periods from 2012 recorded slight improved and took a leap in 2016.
The results of the examination from 2012 to 2015 showed that the number of candidates that wrote the terminal examination as a prerequisite for admission into tertiary education and scored five credits in five subjects including English Language, Mathematics and three other subjects had pass rates of 38.81, 31.28 and 38.68 percentages, respectively.
However, it recorded a clear break from the past as the 2016 diet recorded a complete leap with 878,040 of the 1,552,758 students who sat for the May/June exams. Candidates representing 52.97 percent obtained credits in five subjects and above, including English language and Mathematics.
Speaking further on the 2017 result he said a total of 1,567,016 candidates registered for the examination out of which 1,550,162 candidates sat for the examination, adding that out of the total number of candidates that sat for the examination 1,471,151 which represent 94.36 percent have their results fully processed and released.
Olanipekun added that 95,734 candidates representing 5.64 percent had a few of their subjects still being processed due to errors traceable to the candidates in the course of registration or writing the examination.
However, he said the results of 214,952 candidates representing 13.79 percent are still being withheld in connection with various reported cases of examination malpractices.
He added that the cases are being investigated and reports of the investigations will be presented to the appropriate committee of the council in due course for consideration, stressing that the committee’s decision will be communicated to the affected candidates through their schools.
He also said with the upgrade of the council’s ICT facilities, particularly, the recently commissioned HP Converged System, a private cloud, the capacity of the Council’s ICT has now been enhanced.
“With the progressive review of our processes and procedures backed with the determination of the entire workforce of the council in Nigeria to serve the Nigerian child better and faster, the early release of the results of the WASSCE for school certificate 2017 has been made possible.
Speaking further on the breakdown of the results, Olanipekun said 1,357,193 candidates representing 87.05 percent obtained credits and above in four subjects, while 1,243,772 candidates representing 79.77 percent obtained credits and above in five subjects and 1,084,214 candidates representing 69.54 percent obtained credits and above in six subjects.