The outgone Registrar, West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, has given an account of his seven years of stewardship and also acknowledged the contributions of the five member-countries to the success recorded.
Uwadiae, who was appointed a registrar of the council on October 1, 2012, bowed out of the office on Monday, September 30, and he confirmed that the council has picked his successor but refused to reveal the identity of the person.
The registrar, who spoke from Accra, Ghana via the new teleconference facility launched the same day, said he started his career in WAEC on November 1, 1985, and served the council in various positions and ascended the ladder.
He recalled that he was promoted as Deputy Registrar in 2003, elevated to the headship of the council’s Research Division and Headquarters office, Lagos in 2005, became the Head of Nigeria National Office of the council in 2008 and replaced Alhaja (Mrs.) Mulikat Bello, as Registrar in 2012 for a five-year tenure adding ‘’at the expiration of my tenure in September 2017, I was granted a two-year extension of the contract, which ends on Monday, September 30, 2019.’’
The council boss acknowledged that he worked with a crop of Heads of National Office, Heads of Department at the headquarters, and other dedicated principal officers that formed the formidable team which moved the council’s wheel of progress during my tenure.
Said he: ‘’We took up the challenge of terminating the seemingly endless sojourn of the headquarters in the premises of the Ghana National Office and implemented some difficult initiative, which saw to the completion of the 15-year-old headquarters office complex and facilitated the physical occupation of the edifice by headquarters’ staff in December 2016.’’
The outgoing registrar said the council expanded its consultancy services and demonstrated the capacity for more functions and responsibilities in all its offices while some member governments created new examinations and assigned their conduct to the council. The council’s efforts at making inroads into the neighboring non-WAEC member countries like the Republic of Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali paid off, as more schools and candidates in those countries were attracted to the council’s examination.
He explained that after five years of piloting the affairs of the council, it persuaded the government of Liberia to adopt WASSCE with effect from 2018, thereby phasing out the Liberia Senior High School Certificate Examination (LSHSCE). The council, however, extended the conduct of LSHSCE for private candidates until 2019 to provide a further opportunity for the remnants of the examination.
According to him, in order to satisfy the educational aspirations of some stakeholders in the member-countries, the council introduced additional diets of WASSCE and BECE for private candidates, stressing ‘’we introduced in the private candidates’ examinations a facility for admitting on-the-spot candidates who were unable to enroll within the designated registration period.’’
Uwadiae also stated that the council created the Attestation of Results, which is a replacement as good as the original, to alleviate the challenges faced by former candidates whose original certificates are missing or destroyed.
He admitted that the council paid attention to the issue of examination leakage and resolved to settle for nothing short of total eradication of the menace.
The registrar revealed that the council was relentless in the deployment of technology in its operations and activities, stating ‘’with the use of technology, we built tighter security around our examination materials and conduct, as various gadgets and software were deployed for identification of candidates, capturing of data and detection of irregularities at examination centers.
‘’Constrained papers were also introduced to stifle cheating at the examinations. We successfully reduced the period for the processing of the results of WASSCE for school candidates from an average of 84 days in the past to barely 45 days, and the compression is still ongoing.’’
Other achievements include improved staff welfare and motivation, sustained the culture of paperless meetings with the preparation and circulation of electronic folders for all committee and staff meetings across the member countries, implementing the Tele-conferencing project, which had remained in the pipeline for quite a while and that construction works on various development projects were undertaken by the offices during his tenure.