The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has announced a significant shift in its examination format for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE). Moving away from the traditional paper and pencil test model, WAEC has adopted the Computer-Based Test (CBT) mode. This change, as stated in a release by Moyosola Adesina, the acting head of WAEC’s Public Affairs Unit, is set to commence with the West African Senior School Certificate Examination for private candidates in February 2024.
This transition to CBT aligns with global best practices and represents a major step forward in modernizing the examination process. WAEC’s decision to migrate its WASSCE for Private Candidates Examination Diets from Paper and Pencil Tests to Computer Examination is a reflection of the evolving educational landscape and the need to stay abreast with technological advancements.
The move to CBT is expected to bring about a more efficient, secure, and environmentally friendly examination process. It also opens up new possibilities for the way examinations are conducted, potentially leading to more streamlined processes and quicker result compilation.
The decision by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to adopt Computer-Based Testing (CBT) for the Senior School Certificate Examination marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of educational assessment in West Africa. This shift is not merely a change in the mode of examination; it represents a broader move towards embracing technology in education, a step that is both necessary and commendable.
The adoption of CBT is a clear indication that WAEC is committed to aligning with global best practices. This transition acknowledges the growing importance of technology in all aspects of life, including education. By moving away from the traditional paper and pencil tests, WAEC is not only modernizing its examination process but also preparing students for a future where digital literacy is paramount.
However, this transition also brings challenges that must be addressed. The foremost among these is ensuring equitable access to computer-based facilities for all students, especially in regions where such resources are scarce. It is crucial that this shift does not inadvertently widen the educational divide but instead becomes a tool for bridging gaps.
The introduction of CBT requires significant investment in infrastructure, training, and security measures to prevent malpractices. WAEC must ensure that the systems put in place are robust and capable of handling the demands of large-scale, high-stakes examinations.
In addition, there is a need for comprehensive training for both students and educators to familiarize them with the new system. This transition period is an opportunity for educational institutions to integrate more technology-focused learning and assessment methods into their curricula.
WAEC’s move to CBT is a forward-thinking decision that aligns with the digital age. It is a step towards enhancing the quality and relevance of education in West Africa. As we embrace this change, let us also commit to ensuring that it benefits all students, regardless of their background, and paves the way for a more inclusive and technologically adept educational environment.
Did You Know?
- Global Trend in CBT: Computer-based testing is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, offering advantages like immediate feedback, adaptive testing, and reduced paper use.
- Digital Divide in Education: Access to digital tools and internet connectivity remains a challenge in many parts of West Africa, impacting the effectiveness of technology-based education.
- Environmental Impact: Shifting to CBT significantly reduces paper usage, contributing to environmental conservation efforts.
- Security in Online Exams: Advanced security measures, including biometric verification and secure browsers, are often employed in CBT to prevent cheating.
- Adaptive Testing Potential: CBT allows for adaptive testing, where the difficulty of questions can adjust based on the test-taker’s responses, providing a more personalized assessment.