Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM




The West African Examination Council (WAEC), which is a recognized body conducting final examination for Senior School Certificate, has in the wake of registering candidates for the 2010 Nov/Dec. West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE External) introduced a new wave of exploitation of intending candidates. The registration of prospective candidates via internet which started on the 23rd of April 2010 and closed on the 30th of June 2010 officially cost N5, 450 while the penalty for late registration attracts an additional N5, 000!

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) condemns these charges as they are totally beyond what children of poor working class parents can afford. At the same time, the action of WAEC in charging an additional N5, 000 for late registration is fraudulent, exploitative and morally unacceptable.

As is generally known, registration which is via the internet is always difficult to accomplish by the candidates within the stipulated period especially in a deprived society like Nigeria where internet service is very poor and sometimes hard to come by. Despite the recent expansion of internet access and usage in Nigeria, it is on record that most rural communities have no internet facilities or cyber cafes. In many of these communities, electricity is a rarity not to talk of internet facilities. Candidates resident in such areas are therefore faced with the enormous challenge of travelling to the cities to jostle for space in overcrowded cyber cafes to register.

Aside this, the integrity of the official website of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) through which registration is done is questionable due to the barrage of complaints by prospective candidates that have become associated with it since electronic registration was introduced by the examination body. For instance, several candidates trying to register for the 2010 Nov/Dec WASSCE (External) have complained that the server of the official website of the examination body was slow or unavailable at all on the last day of registration while many candidates had already created an internet account with WAEC.


(1) The penalty fee for late registration of candidates in 2008 was N1, 000 and increased to N1, 100 in 2009. Therefore, the increment to N5, 000 in 2010 is outrageous and exploitative and does not conform to the current prevailing economic trend anywhere in world. For instance, what does WAEC lose by allowing more candidates to register after the stipulated period? If the late registration fee is a penalty, what really is WAEC penalizing such candidates for? Why must the penalty involve the candidates paying a whopping N5, 000 to WAEC?

(2) Prospective candidates that have already created an internet account with the WAEC website and whose registration cards would be otherwise useless should be deemed to have logged-in into WAEC registration website and are therefore not late for registration.

Against the above background, the practice of late registration is therefore condemnable and vexatious. It amounts to exploitation and extortion of hapless candidates and their poor parents. We therefore see these actions of the WAEC as a calculated attempt to exploit Nigerian students seeking educational qualifications through the examination body, increase the cost of education and deprive them of their rights to education.


(1) Immediate cancellation of late registration charges as it is fraudulent and exploitative means to extort candidates

(2) Immediate refund of all payments made for late registration

(3) The category of candidates who have already created an internet account on 30th June 2010 (which is the last day of registration) with the WAEC must be taken not to have flouted the registration beyond and must therefore be allowed to complete registration free of any extra charges.

(4) Extension of period within which forms are sold and registrations are done. This must be well publicized in electronic and print media to allow prospective candidates take advantage of the grace period to register for the examination.

(5) Immediate upgrading and improvement of the website of the WAEC to enable it provide a flawless and cheap means of registration for examinations.

(6) For democratization of the decision making bodies of West African Examination Council (WAEC) to include the involvement of elected representatives of students, teachers and parents in order to allow those concerned to monitor the activities of the examination body unlike presently when decisions that affect candidates’ life are taken by a few unelected officials.

Hassan Taiwo Soweto, National Coordinator
Chinedu Bosah, National Secretary