Candidates in the May/June 2014 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) did not do well in all the core subjects as their 2013 counterparts, the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), has observed from its analysis.
Social Studies topped the list as the core subject with the best performance by candidates at credit level, consisting of Grades A1 to C6 with a pass rate of 57.4 per cent, but this fared short of the 2013 figure of 81.4 per cent.
The breakdown for May/June 2014 WASSCE, are as follows: English Language recorded a pass rate of 45.2 per cent, Mathematics: 32.4 per cent, while Integrated Science recorded a pass rate of 28.7 per cent.
The Very Reverend Samuel Nmai Ollennu, Head of National Office, WAEC, who announced this at this year’s WAEC Distinction Awards ceremony to honour candidates who excelled in the May/June 2014 WASSCE, stated that under the core subjects, the failure rates for those who obtained Grade F9 included 16.2 per cent in Social Studies; 20.9 per cent in English Language; 31.6 percent in Mathematics; and 35.6 per cent in Integrated Science.
He said Chief examiners have identified many negative factors that led to poor performance by some students in some of the subjects.
These included the lack of answering skills and understanding of questions, non-adherence to rubrics, poor handwriting, misunderstanding of demands of the questions, leading to deviation and the lack of understanding of technical and scientific terms and mathematical concepts.
Rev Ollennu said to address the weakness and improve candidates’ performances, tutors had been urged to help students to understand and follow the rubrics in their papers through mock examinations, as well as endeavour to cover all the topics in the various syllabuses thoroughly with their students.
“They should place emphasis on more class exercise, spelling drills and speed work in subjects such as Mathematics and English language,” he explained.
The candidates on the other hand, were advised to read questions carefully and understand them before attempting to write their responses.
Once they know the requirement of questions, they should refrain from deviation in their answers, he said.
Rev Ollennu said quite a number of malpractices were also recorded during the May/June 2014 WASSCE leading to the cancellation of the entire results of 368 candidates, while 7,460 candidates lost their subject results.
He, therefore, announced that WAEC had started to put up measures in place to address the trend of examination malpractices through the organisation of various activities.
“At a recent stakeholders’ dialogue, all present saw the need to eliminate examination malpractices and all firmly resolved to do so,” he emphasised.
Meanwhile, Rev Ollennu has appealed to school authorities at all levels to support WAEC during the forthcoming examinations, saying, “Vigilance on your part will go a long way to ensure smooth and clean examinations.”