The initiative, the Council said, was to check the increasing use of “programmable calculators” by candidates during examinations.
The council conducts the May/June and November/December West African Senior School Certificate Examinations.
The Council made this known in a communiqué signed by its Head of Public Affairs Department in Yaba, Lagos, Mr. Yusuf Ari.
According to Ari, the decision is one of the resolutions taken at the Nigeria Examinations Committee of the Council at its 57th meeting in Lagos. The committee is the highest decision-making organ of WAEC on examination-related matters in Nigeria.
Part of the communiqué read, “In view of the noticeable increase in the use of programmable calculators by candidates during examinations, in contravention of the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of its examinations, the Committee mandated the Council to introduce WAEC-branded, non-programmable calculators, and mathematical sets for use by candidates, with effect from November/December 2014 WASSCE.”
The Committee, which also expressed concern that Nigerian candidates had won only a few of the international awards given under the aegis of the WAEC Endowment Fund in recent years, however, blamed the poor outings on what it called “the lack of essential inputs.”
The international awards are for candidates that posted outstanding performance in the Council’s examinations.
The communiqué added, “The unimpressive performance of Nigerian candidates at the sub regional level, the Committee believed, was due to lack of essential inputs – human, material and otherwise – required to drive a sound educational system and the lack of continuity in the system.”
To alter the situation, the committee has urged the federal and state governments, as well as other education stakeholders to articulate policies and programmes that would help improve the standard of education in the country.
It recommended, among others, the provision of appropriate work force, adequate infrastructure and teaching aids, saying these would facilitate proper teaching and learning to prepare adequately pupils for WAEC examinations.
The Committee also identified inadequate preparation and rote memorisation, illegible handwriting, poor choice of questions, failure to answer the required number of questions, vague or irrelevant answers, and inadequate division of time between questions, as some of the problems that cause candidates’ poor performance in WASSCE.
Others are grammar and spelling errors, misinterpretation of the demands of the questions and difficulty in framing their responses due to poor command of the English Language. (WAEC)