Each year, many students, desperate to take another shot at the WASSCE, find themselves asking if the people at WAEC are going to cancel the Nov-Dec WASSCE for private candidates.
The source of this is the rumour some people spread for reasons best known to themselves.
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The simple answer to whether WAEC will ever cancel the Nov-Dec WASSCE goes like this:
It is highly unlikely.
What is the probability?
Much as I agree that nothing is impossible, the probability of this happening is close to zero.
The West African Examinations Council cannot easily stop conducting the WASSCE for private candidates popularly called NOV-DEC.
It is not like I’ve got any inside information from WAEC to convince me to reject the idea that WAEC can cancel the Nov-Dec WASSCE one day.
But for some practical reasons, I think it will be difficult for WAEC to cancel the Nov-Dec WASSCE for private candidates.
Probably, it will take the threat posed to life by a novel pandemic like the COVID-19 for WAEC to contemplate the idea of cancelling all its public examinations (Nov-Dec WASSCE included) within a particular period.
Putting that aside, here are my reasons why I believe it is almost impossible for the Nov-Dec WASSCE to be cancelled or discontinued altogether.
1. Giving a second chance to first-time poor performers
We are talking about thousands of former WASSCE candidates from each WAEC member country.
Many of these youths need to be given another chance to better their WASSCE grades. Their future is at stake here.
Not only that. The future development of their respective countries will also suffer if all these youths are denied the opportunity to further their education for the mere reason that they couldn’t do well at their previous sitting for the exam.
History is replete with cases where previous poor performers in examinations of this nature had gone ahead, when given a second chance, to become top achievers in their chosen fields.
The folks at WAEC and other stakeholders are aware of this. This is why we have a private BECE in Ghana, for example. And this is why they will not easily take a decision to cancel Nov-Dec WASSCE.
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2. Political considerations
Let’s face it. The realities of electioneering as part of democratic governance in all WAEC member-countries won’t allow this.
Let me put it plainly. Those in power will not sit down to watch WAEC cancel Nov-Dec WASSCE.
You know why? It will affect their electoral fortunes come election day.
Forget about the notion that WAEC is an autonomous body. When push comes to shove, the politicians will have their way.
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Are you beginning to see why it is never going to be easy for WAEC to cancel the private WASSCE? Even if they want to do so?
3. WAEC generates revenue from the Nov-Dec WASSCE
Cancelling Nov-Dec WASSCE will mean WAEC saying bye-bye to all that cash they make from the registration of candidates each year.
Needless to say, that’s too much money to throw away. Just like that. This revenue enables this important international examinations body to function effectively.
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You only have to consider the multitudes of private candidates who take the Nov-Dec WASSCE each year. Then you can imagine the kind of money WAEC will be throwing away if it ever decides to cancel the Nov-Dec WASSCE.
As you can see, this is a compelling economic factor to make WAEC feel reluctant to discontinue the yearly conduct of the Nov-Dec WASSCE.
There may be many other reasons why WAEC cannot easily cancel Nov-Dec WASSCE. But the above are among the most compelling ones.
So, next time someone begins to spread falsehood about WAEC cancelling this all-important examination, think twice before you believe them. I mean, make the right checks first. And, please, do not help them spread it further.
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