Principals of schools, students, government functionaries and other stakeholders gathered at the British Council for the launch of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) On-line Results Information System.
“History is going to be set today… as our on-line system will soon be launched,” said WAEC Chairperson Eugenia Johnson. “Our new system is a beg step which will render results that are trustworthy and reliable.”
Mrs. Johnson noted that thanks to the on-line system, people living far away in the provinces would no longer have to travel long distances to obtain their test scores. “A new era has dawned,” she said, adding that it was important for all to be computer-literate.
Under WAEC’s on-line system, anyone interested in checking exam results can do so by purchasing a scratch card for Le 10,000, which contains a pin number and input the details required on any computer or mobile phone with internet access.
Sherif Mohamed Sapatouh, the WAEC Head of National Office called the event “an interesting and good-story launching.”
“Public examinations have been considered a useful tool in the educational system of most African countries,” he said. “The dynamic nature of society demands the fluidity of the curriculum and hence the examination system.”
Mr. Sapatouh revealed that the on-line system currently contains the following exam results: WASSCE from 2000-2007; BECE from 1996-2007; and NPSE from 1993-2007. He also said the series of 2008 examination results would be immediately available online once they are released.
“The Sierra Leone National Office of WAEC is striving to be at the outlining edge of technology,” Sapatouh said. “Sierra Leone will now toe the line of other member countries by launching its On-line Results Checking Facility.”
Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Dr Lansana Nyallay said “Information is power”.
He said the new on-line system had decentralized information from WAEC to “our bedrooms, to our city rooms, to our laptops, to the USA: Watch out,” saying “WAEC is coming.”
Dr. Nyallay also stressed the importance for more people, himself included, to become computer-literate to fully take advantage of the on-line system.
“If you can’t speak computer, then how can you hear computer?” he asked. “We have to go back to school to learn the language that WAEC is bringing to our laptops.”
After commending WAEC and assuring them of government’s continued support, Minister of State in the Vice President’s office, Balogun Koroma officially launched the on-line system on a laptop hooked up to a projector screen so the audience could see the displayed results.
Others joined in later with help from Patrick Hamilton, Head of the Computer Services Division in Sierra Leone and a man whom some refer to as “the brain” behind the exercise.
What was already a bright and positive event got even brighter when the popular comedy group, Wan Pot performed a short skit to illustrate how the on-line system work, including information about the scratch cards and required inputs for proper results.