The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has revealed plan to introduce computer-based test (CBT) mode for its exams, according to Mr Patrick Areghan, WAEC’s Head of National Office (HNO).
Mr Areghan revealed this in an interview with NAN on Saturday. He said he has long envisioned incorporating CBT into the council’s examinations.
The WAEC HNO explained that progress has already been made in planning, and even the council’s registrar is involved in similar efforts across the sub-region.
However, he highlighted the challenges of implementing CBT for practicals and essay papers, emphasizing its feasibility primarily for objective questions.
Despite external examples, he raised concerns about computer literacy, the availability of computer facilities, and electricity access in schools.
”We have already started something in terms of CBT examination. We have gone far with our planning and all of that, even in the sub-region, the registrar to the council is also doing something.
“This is because we ask ourselves, how do we conduct CBT for practicals and essay papers?
“We can only readily do that in the case of objective questions. But so many people will not see it from that angle. They argue that some others are doing it, why can’t WAEC do the same?
“Now, no one even talks about energy; how many schools are exposed to computer literacy? How many have computer facilities, and how many have electricity to run these things?
“Even where you have all these things on ground, how do you handle the issue of theory and practical papers? So, these are the issues, but that is what I want the council to do in the very near future,” he said.
Despite these challenges, Areghan expressed determination for WAEC to eventually conduct CBT examinations, potentially starting with objective questions.
He acknowledged that there may be a segmented market, with some students opting for the traditional pencil and paper mode due to limitations in accessing CBT.