Accra, Feb. 17, GNA – The West African Examination Council (WAEC) on Friday launched its 60th anniversary celebrations with a promise to provide better services to its clients and introduce more technological innovations in the work.

The Council, which was established in 1952 and has its headquarters in Ghana, is operational in Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Gambia to conduct examinations and award certificates for students in member countries.

Speaking at the launch of the anniversary, Mrs Mulikat Bello, Executive Director, WAEC, noted that the Council is regarded as one of the most credible and one of the strongest cords that bound the five English speaking West African countries together.

“For 60 good years, WAEC has remained the bridge that links the education sector and the member countries, offering them the opportunity to plan, work and forge ahead together as a people with one educational destiny”.

“We are celebrating an organisation which, rather than ageing at sixty, has remained vibrant, applying the age-defying tonic of technology to rejuvenate, re-engineer and reposition itself to live up to expectations.”

She said the celebrations would be capped with the holding of the 60thanniversary Annual Council Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria from March 26th to 30th, 2012.

The anniversary celebration, which is on the theme: “Sixty Years of Commitment to Excellence in Educational Assessment” would include sensitisationprogrammes, floats and lectures.

Mr E.T. Mensah, Acting Minister of Education, entreated the Council not rest on its oars until stakeholders had been properly sensitized on its mandate and examination malpractices drastically reduced.

He congratulated the Council for working hard to ensure that candidates and stakeholders believed in their works.

“From barely 35,000 candidates, who sat for the first exams conducted by the Council in 1952, the candidates entries are now over 2.8 million per annum”.

He said from staff strength of only 11 in 1952, the figure had grown to 4,000 spread across all the member countries with 636 in Ghana.

Mr Mensah praised WAEC for the decision to introduce electronic marking and the drawing of a five year Corporate Strategic Plan to guide its works.

Mrs Patience Ayesu, Head of Ghana National Office of WAEC, cited online registration for all public examinations, batch registration for all school candidates, WAEC Direct result checker services, online access of admission notices as some of the success chopped by the Ghana office.

“We have also introduced electronic examination fee collection, electronic payment for examiners, supervisors and invigilators and electronic sales of results checker pins.”

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