WAEC establishes digital printing press in Nigeria

WAEC President Prof. Ato Essuman presenting a souvenir to Education Minister Mallam Adamu Adamu

The Nigerian National Office of the West Africa Examinations Council WAEC has set up a digital printing press for the printing of exam security materials.

WAEC Chairman Prof. Ato Essuman said this in Abuja during a visit to Education Minister Mallam Adamu Adamu

Prof. Essuman said the digital printing press is the first to be owned by the Council in Nigeria.

He explained that the building and all exterior works have been completed and three machines have been purchased

Professor Essuman, however, sought federal government support to procure an exceptional machine that cost $3.9 million to get operations started at the digital printing press.

“As a responsible and responsive organization, the Board is always looking for ways to improve its service delivery to stakeholders.

“The Nigeria Country Office has embarked on the establishment of a digital printing press for the printing of exam safety materials, the first to be owned by the council in Nigeria.

“However, the project, which is coming to an end, has stalled as we are unable to finance the acquisition of a particular machine which is vital for the operation of the system.

“I therefore wish to use this privilege granted to me today to request your kind intervention to enable us to obtain the financial assistance required for the purchase of the machine,” he said.

Professor Essuman said that in the WAEC’s 70 years of existence, Nigeria has stood out in the courtesy of member countries not only in the execution of its obligations, but also in the enthusiasm and speed with which most of the obligations have been fulfilled.

He therefore thanked the government and people of Nigeria for the support, cooperation and goodwill that WAEC had received since its inception in 1952 till date.

In response, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, promised to do his best to ensure that the Nigerian government supports the council in achieving its mandate.

The Head of WAEC Nigeria National Office, Mr. Patrick Areghan, while visiting its tagging centers in Abuja, said that there has been a marginal increase in WAEC fees due to the inflationary spiral in the country.

Mr Areghan said the conversion from naira to dollars today was a misery saying the upward revision of fees was necessary to enable the council to render its services effectively to the Nigerian child.

“There has to be this incremental increase to enable us to provide better services. Reviewers are now satisfied as we are able to increase their proofing fees with this incremental increase.

“The money was actually used to pay reviewers to allow us to keep them happy so they could do their job better,” he said.

He noted that every student who takes the exams now has to pay 18,000 Naira compared to 13,950 Naira previously.

On whether the council plans to introduce computer-based testing (CBT) in the conduct of its examinations, Areghan said CBT will only be achieved if the government provides the necessary facilities to enable it to conduct such examinations.

He said that the WAEC held exams for over 20,000 secondary schools in the country and in 76 subjects and therefore it would be difficult to use CBT for their exams, knowing full well that a candidate could offer as few as eight materials.

Written by Daniel Adejo