The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) would begin marking of theory papers of more subjects taken in the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations online.
The head of the council’s National Office, Mr. Charles Eguridu at a seminar held at WAEC International Office, Agindingbi, Lagos said the scheme is part of a five-year strategic plan to improve the reliability of test scores in line with international best practices.
Eguridu who was represented by Mr. Stephen Taiwo said “it is part of the five-year strategic plan of WAEC as approved by the international board in 2012. The pilot scheme started in 2011 after an international conference in Australia in 2010. Last year we went fully online for Biology, Building Technology and Agricultural Science.”
Speaking on the aims of e-marking, Dr. Modupe Oke said the aim is to improve the standard of test scores while reducing cost and saving time. She said that research has shown the discrepancies by examiners in manual marking, and it became important for the council to device a means that would ensure that candidates are graded the same way by all examiners.
Speaking further Dr. Oke said that the major challenge of manual scoring of essay and practical tests is reliability. However with the e-marking, many lapses of the manual marking are corrected.
Throwing more light on the e-marker, Mr. Chukwumaeze Oforha, a retiree of the council said it makes vetting of the examination scores more real, it eliminates the problem of missing scripts and saves time. “Vetting is more real with e-marking. I used to be involved in manual marking and senior markers paly a lot of pranks. Some will claimed to have vetted scripts marked by junior markers without doing so. While marking once a junior marker marks a script wrong the computer would shut him down until a senior marker intervenes.”
The Computer Based Testing (CBT) facility of WAEC, at the International Office is the only e-marking centre in the country. However, Dr. Olusanya Da-Costa, head of the e-marking scheme said that there are plans to open regional centres in other parts of the country. He also said that other subjects would be added to the three that are being marked once their answers have been limited to specific details.
Da-Costa also said that to facilitate their job, examiners are given modems and internet connections to work in their homes, this helps them to mark more scripts and get paid accordingly. “If you are able to mark 4,000 scripts at N18 per script, you know what you can get. In the history of marking scripts, we have not had someone who earned up to N100, 000 but it happened last year.”
Mr. Johnson Olufemi Asa, the Chief Examiner for Biology said that it is easier and more accurate than manual marking. If an examiner makes one or two mistakes it stops him/her from marking.

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