The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) yesterday announced its readiness to conduct the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates in 2021.

The examination will commence throughout the council’s sub-region from August 16 to October 8, 2021, and end in Nigeria on September 30, 2021-a period of seven weeks.

The Head of National Office (HNO), Mr. Patrick Areghan, who briefed journalists at a programme to also inaugurate its request management system and WAEC –ChatBot in Lagos, disclosed that the National Identification Number (NIN) would become a major requirement for registration for the examination with effect from 2022 and subsequent ones.

“This means that all prospective candidates must register with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and get their National Identification Number (NIN). This is in line with the federal government’s policy, as directed by the Federal Ministry of Education that ‘No NIN, no entry’,” he said.

Areghan gave the statistics of students that would sit for the examination.

He said a total of 1,573,789 candidates, comprising 792,620 males (50.36 per cent) and 781,169 females (49.64 per cent) were presented by 19,425 recognised secondary schools across the country, including the FCT, for the examination.

He said candidates would be examined in 76 subjects, made up of 197 papers, adding that about 25,000 senior teachers would be participating in the examination as supervisors.

Areghan expressed concern that the examination is coming in August

instead of the usual May/June, and also coming after some other national examinations had taken place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a disruption and distortion of academic calendar in the West African sub-region.

According to him, “The final international timetable was, therefore, drawn in such a way to cater for the interests of all the five-member countries. The timetable was specifically drawn to align with Nigeria’s emergency academic calendar and also in deference to the specific request made by the Federal Ministry of Education.

“These two factors formed the basis of our input into the drafting and finalisation of the international timetable by WAEC headquarters in Accra, Ghana.”

The HNO emphasised on the security situation in the country as well as seeking a way to protect its examination, saying the council is liaising with the relevant security agencies on the examinations.