The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has responded to concerns about discrepancies in the National Grading System for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates.
Since the release of the 2022 BECE results on January 25, 2023, some parents and schools have taken to social media, claiming that their high-performing students who did well in mock exams received lower grades in the BECE.
Reverend Victor Brew, Head of the Legal Department at WAEC, acknowledged that the council has received complaints about this issue. However, he denied that the council intentionally lowered the marks of private school students.
According to him, private schools tend to use their school population samples to evaluate their students’ performance, without taking into account that they are competing with students at the national level when they participate in the BECE.
He further explained that even though the best student in a particular school may score higher during mock exams, they are likely to receive lower grades when compared to the best national students.
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He emphasized that there is a national educational assessment policy, which was not created by WAEC, that dictates that only the top 4% of students in any given subject can receive the highest grade, which is grade 1. For example, a student who scores 86% in mock exams may receive a grade of 98-99% when compared to the best national students. However, the student needs to fall within the 4% range to receive a grade 1.
He assured the public that WAEC will engage with schools to address their concerns and provide clarity about the grading system.