In a bid to modernize its examination system, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has revealed plans to introduce the Computer Based Test (CBT) mode for the administration of its examinations. This announcement was made by Mr Patrick Areghan, WAEC’s Head of National Office (HNO), in an exclusive interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday.
Areghan expressed his excitement about the prospect of implementing the CBT mode, stating that it has always been part of his vision for the council. He revealed that WAEC has already made significant progress in planning and preparation for the introduction of CBT examinations, and that the registrar to the council is also working towards this goal in the sub-region.
However, Areghan acknowledged that implementing CBT for all types of examinations is not as simple as it may seem. He raised important questions about how to conduct CBT for practical and essay papers, as this mode is currently more suitable for objective questions. Despite the challenges, Areghan emphasized the importance of exploring the possibilities and finding solutions.
One of the major concerns highlighted by Areghan is the lack of computer literacy among students. He questioned how many schools have the necessary computer facilities and electricity to support CBT examinations. Areghan also pointed out that even in schools with adequate infrastructure, there are still challenges in conducting theory and practical papers using the CBT mode.
Despite these obstacles, Areghan firmly believes that WAEC should be able to conduct CBT examinations, even if it means starting with objective questions only. He expressed his desire for the council to embrace this change in the near future.
Areghan also mentioned the possibility of having a segregated market, where students who cannot afford CBT examinations can opt for the traditional pencil and paper mode. This would ensure that all students have equal opportunities to showcase their knowledge and abilities, regardless of their financial backgrounds.
The introduction of CBT in WAEC examinations would mark a significant milestone in the council’s efforts to modernize its processes. It would align with global trends in education and provide students with valuable experience in using technology for assessments. However, it is crucial for the council to address the challenges and ensure that all students have access to the necessary resources for CBT examinations.
As WAEC moves forward with its plans, it is expected to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including schools, governments, and technology providers, to overcome the obstacles and make the transition to CBT as smooth as possible. This would require investments in infrastructure, training programs for teachers and students, and strategic partnerships to ensure the success of the new examination mode.
In conclusion, WAEC’s decision to introduce the CBT mode for its examinations demonstrates its commitment to innovation and excellence in education. While challenges are to overcome, the council’s vision for a modernized examination system is a step in the right direction. By embracing technology and providing equal opportunities for all students, WAEC is positioning itself as a leader in the education sector.