The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has said that some 30 million certificate holders who had taken the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) from 1999 till date, will be able to access and share the original copies of their certificates from anywhere in the world.
The council’s head of national office in Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Areghan, disclosed this in Lagos at the launch of WAEC digital certificate platform.
The platform, he said, would enable users to access, share, request and confirm their certificates.
He said the 1970 to 1998 sets would be accommodated in due course.
To assess, confirm and share the certificates, Areghan said users will have to pay N 7,500, N5, 000 and N3, 500, respectively.
He added that the platform will also be used to recover candidates’ forgotten/lost examination numbers, adding that attestation which used to cost N60, 000 had been reduced to N7, 500.
“We have sensitised over 1,000 institutions in Nigeria and also talked to the embassies on the digital certification,” he said.
He emphasised on the importance of technology in achieving the feat, and why Nigeria is starting ahead of Ghana, saying that the council was evolving to meet the demands of a changing world.
“We have migrated from physical registration of candidates to online registration; online verification of results and online result printouts, etc. The development of the new digital certificate platform is in line with WAEC’s continuous record of meeting global needs by using cutting-edge technology to improve candidates’ experiences as they seek to continue their education.
“Their mobility is of utmost importance to the West African Examinations Council. With the application of technology, candidates can get their results within 45 days and we will continue to innovate. Nigeria is the largest member of WAEC with over 1.6 million candidates taking the exam. Definitely, Nigeria should lead the way ahead of other African countries.”
Areghan added that the new digital platform, was developed in conjunction with security technology providers, and is being implemented to streamline the issuance and verification of certificates from all over the world.
“The platform involves mobile and web-based application that is designed specifically for candidates, individuals, institutions and organisations. It holds powerful features that enable users to access, share, request and confirm certificates. It is also used to recover candidates’ forgotten/lost examination numbers.”
Areghan listed some of the benefits of the platform to include generating and sharing certificates, security/data protection, portability, authenticity, improved confirmation processes, as well as printability.
He said the digital certificate platform initiated by Nigeria is the first of its kind in the examination board since its establishment in 1952.
Areghan explained that Nigeria did not develop it mainly to curb examination malpractices but for technological advancement and quality service delivery.
“We talk about the massive deployment of technology. It is innovation for candidates to get their certificate 9o days after the release of results and 45 days after completing the examination.
“Things are changing. Nigeria will continue to innovate and without mincing words, Nigeria is the largest member of WAEC, all other states combined are not half of Nigeria.
“Nigeria presents over 1.6 million candidates every year, closely followed by Ghana with about 400,000 candidates. So when we are talking about innovation, then Nigeria should lead the way,” he said.