Comparative Study Of Students Performance In West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) And National Examination Council (NECO) In Biology Between 2010-2013 In Secondary Schools

Comparative Study Of Students Performance In West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) And National Examination Council (NECO) In Biology Between 2010-2013 In Secondary Schools

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 CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Examination is described by Uduh (2009) as the process of finding out how much of the objectives of specific tasks a learner has learned, also, Fagbaminye (1998), defined examination as a tool for measuring and judging the standard of education in any country. Examinations could be coeternally or externally conducted. Internal examination is usually developed and administered by schools using teacher-made tests. These could be conducted weekly, termly or at the end of the school year. External examinations are developed and administered by public examinations bodies.

Comparative Study Of Students Performance In West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) And National Examination Council (NECO) In Biology Between 2010-2013 In Secondary Schools

Moreover, public examinations are often used to set a standard of performance schools. This was why the British colonial administration masterminded the setting up of the West African senior secondary certificate examination in 1952. It was meant to administer examination in gold coast (Ghana), Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. The West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE), is charged with the responsibility of conducting HSC/GCEA Level, the West African Examination (SSCE) 0’ level (internal and external), technical and business studies examination as well as the national common entrance. It also conducts an examination in General Certificate in Education for non-West African Countries.

Comparative Study Of Students Performance In West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) And National Examination Council (NECO) In Biology Between 2010-2013 In Secondary Schools

In 1999, the national examination council (NECO) was set up specifically to administer public examinations in Nigeria. One of the reasons for the establishment of NECO came from complains among the public that the standards set by WAEC or WASSCE was too high and this was held responsible for the mass failure in WASSCE or WAEC (Abiodun, 2012). NECO is responsible for conducting the following examinations in Nigeria; senior secondary certificate examination (internal and external), Junior Secondary Certificate Examination, National common entrance, and Gifted Examination.

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Furthermore, Ajayi and Ekundayo (2010), reported that in order to establish its mark,  NECO compromised standards leading to 67.3% of the candidates making five credit passes at it frit examination in 1999. However, due to severe criticism, NECO stepped up it’s standard leading to the worst performance in 2009 when only 1.8% made five credits in the November/ December examination (NECO, 2010).

Comparative Study Of Students Performance In West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) And National Examination Council (NECO) In Biology Between 2010-2013 In Secondary Schools

The controversy regarding the performance of students in both WASSCE and NECO today is a national issue. There is a lot of disagreement as to which of these examinations produce the better result. The general conclusion, however, is that student performs poorly in both WASSCE and NECO (Adesemowo, 2005). However, stakeholders have continued to trade blames on the causes of mass failure of students in public examinations. Thus, some people put the blame on government, some on parents, some on society and students themselves with the teachers having a lion share of the blame.

As accusations and counter-accusations on who to blame on the mass failure of students persist, the fact remains that all the stakeholders have a role to play in solving the problem of the abysmal failure of students in public examinations. Studies have revealed a generally poor performance in science subjects both in WASSCE and NECO over the years.

Comparative Study Of Students Performance In West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) And National Examination Council (NECO) In Biology Between 2010-2013 In Secondary Schools

Nnaka and Anake in Archibong (2010) reported that in biology chemistry and physics, only 31%, 39% and 51% of students who enrolled for the examination in 206 had credit passes respectively. It is against this background that this study was carried out to compare the academic performance of students in WASSCE and NECO in Biology

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