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This paper compares and examines the performance of secondary school students who were candidates in food and nutrition examinations of both the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) from. Through quantitative analysis, the researcher thoroughly examined and analyzed results and statistics from both examining bodies in Nigeria, and to also identify margin of errors recorded in the chosen study areas. The researcher undertook a quantitative analysis of the performance of candidates who wrote the food and nutrition examinations so as to establish their comparability for control purposes. The research design was correlation. The instruments for data collection included WAEC and NECO results forms. Findings indicated a statistically significant level between candidate’s performance in WAEC and NECO in food and nutrition as well as performance dependency on the education policies and facilities provided by the state governments.



1.1 Background of the Study

Over the years, students’ performance appraisal and evaluation has been proven to be a vital tool in the development and growth of educational systems in Nigeria. The performance of secondary school students who enroll as candidates for both WAEC and NECO need to be properly examined to check against factors that negatively bring about deviations in the two examinations as well as develop measures to optimize performances in these two examination bodies. As globalization is fast appearing real, Nigeria has to step up the standards of her examination bodies, compare results and performances of students over time, and establish good control systems for its examining bodies so as to meet international standards and eliminate the ‘WAEC and NECO discrimination’ which is currently preventing our secondary school students from gaining admission to some universities outside Nigeria (Ololube, 2013).

The assemblage of subject examinations conducted by these examining bodies is known as the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and serves as an end-of-course evaluation for all secondary school graduates. The purpose of this examination is to ascertain to what degree students in a particular course have achieved the course or educational objectives (Harbor, 2011). In view of the economic and social importance attached to senior secondary school certificates, and the opportunities for higher education for those who posses such certificates, the awarding of this certificate is one of the most important events in the Nigerian academic calendar. It thus goes without saying that much is expected from certificate examining and awarding bodies in terms of ensuring that the spirit and focus of the examinations is not misplaced. Various studies matching performance of secondary school students in WAEC and NECO SSCE have received much attention over the years. With the creation of the West African Examination Council, it became necessary for the government and other stake holders in the education sector to monitor and control the activities of these examination bodies to ensure that international standards are met.

Researchers like James Falaye et al. (2015) are one of the pioneers on studies involving comparing performance of secondary school students in WAEC and NECO. In their first research titled ‘appraising the performance of secondary school students, they found out in their hypothesis that there was a statistically significant positive relationship between candidates’ performance on the WAEC SSCE and NECO SSCE at 0.05 alpha level. This positive relationship means that candidates who scored well on WAEC’s SSCE also did well on NECO’s SSCE. Those that performed averagely on WAEC’s SSCE, performed likewise on NECO’s SSCE and so on. The degree of association or linkage between WAEC’s food and nutrition SSCE and NECO’s food and nutrition SSCE was 0.475. The coefficient of alienation 1 − r 2 was found to be 0.89. The percentage of association (r2 x 100) was 21.62%. This value represents the magnitude of the relationship between candidates’ Mathematics performance on WAEC’s SSCE and their corresponding Mathematics performance on NECO’s SSCE.

Although literature on secondary schools’ students performance in WAEC and NECO is not much, the significance of the few published are invaluable to our society.

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