By Joke Adeniyi-Jackson
Kwara State has broken the jinx of failure in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) otherwise known as WAEC as it recorded 64 per cent this year.
The performance of candidates presented by the state for the external examination is a marked improvement over previous years.
Speaking on the development on Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Hajia Mariam Ayodeji Garba, described the performance as the best in the history of the state since its creation.
She stated that there had been steady improvement in candidates’ performance over the years as most of them had scored five credits and above in English Language and Mathematics, which are the basic prerequisites for university admission.
The permanent secretary said the feat was achieved at a time when the ministry under the leadership of Engr Musa Ayinla Yeketi, has been able to curb examination malpractices.
Giving an analysis on the candidates’ performance in the last six years (2011-2017), the Director, Curriculum and Assessment, Alhaji Ahmed Abubakar, said there had been upward movement in the percentage in recent years.
According to him, in 2011, the state presented 25,415 candidates out of which 4,421 (17%) passed with average of five credits including English and Mathematics.
Also in 2012, the state recorded 17 per cent pass with only 4, 371 out of the 25,617 candidates that sat for the examination meeting university admission requirements.
There was slight improvement in 2013 as 7, 115 (25%) candidates passed out of the 28,785 that wrote the examination.
30 per cent was recorded in 2014 with 10,000 of 33,845 candidates making five credits including the core subjects.
For 2015, the percentage rose to 36 with 12,061 of the 33, 565 candidates presented doing well, while there were no available records for 2016.
The percentage jumped to 64 in 2017, the highest so far with 22, 267 out of the 34,832 scoring five credits.
Abubakar, attributed the achievement to effective monitoring by the ministry, which resulted in efficient teaching and learning in schools across the state.
“The commissioner, Engr Musa Yeketi and his team have visited all the schools in the state under the programme “Operation Reach All Schools” for monitoring purpose,” he said.
He added that since stemming tide of examination malpractices there had been improved academic performance among students.
“This has given the student independence and confidence since they know nobody will aid them in the examination, so they now study more.
“In the previous years, when examination malpractice was prevalent, they were failing. So there is asymmetric relationship between war against examination fraud and performance,” he explained.
Other factors, according to him are periodic review of books uses by students and motivation of teachers by the state government.