WAEC Holds Seminar to Enhance Performance in Physics Exams
By Alusine Sesay
In line with its mission to promote academic and moral excellence and also to assist in development of sound education, the Research Division of the Freetown Office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has on Wednesday January 29, 2020, held a seminar at the Council’s hall in Freetown with the theme: “Physics for Everyday Life Experience: Concepts, Principles and Applications”.
The seminar attracted Physics teachers, students, and other stakeholders in education.
The acting head of the Research Division, Mr. M. G. Koroma said that the seminar was in line with WAEC’s policy of close collaboration with schools and other stakeholders in education to promote and sustain quality performance of candidates in Council’s examinations.
Koroma further said that WAEC had a mission to encourage academic and moral excellence among pupils.
He admonished all present especially pupils and teachers to learn through the presentation from the experiences of the seasoned and professional lecturer for them to gain the appropriate skills to pass exams in Physics.
“It is my belief that this presentation will serve as an eye-opener to our candidates before the real testing. It is also my belief that teachers gathered here today will learn from this lecture and put into practice knowledge acquired for better performance of our candidates,” Koroma said.
“The Council is appealing to the Teachers of Education to revive Subject Teacher Associations which we believe will help in solving most of the teaching problems in our schools. Also, for the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School to put proper monitoring mechanism in place for better teaching,” he cautioned.
He expressed gratitude to OIC Freetown and the Management of WAEC for their support to their department for organizing the seminar.
Officer-in-Charge of the National Office of WAEC, Mr Felix Akuffo-Badoo, said that as an academic institution, research is a key component of the functions of WAEC.
He also said “the topic is a very useful one and I am confident that at the end of the presentation we all will appreciate the benefits of steering this process.”
The Chairman of the Seminar, Tamba S. Bandabla, said that WAEC organised the seminar to enhance the performance of candidates in West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). He further said that a seminar like that was a wakeup call for teachers, students and education stakeholders, and added that WAEC was not only interested in setting up examinations, but also in promoting academic excellence.
Presenting a paper with the theme: “Physics for Everyday Life Experience: Concepts, Principles and Applications”, Dr. Charles Turay a lecturer at the University of Makeni (UNIMAK), said that the aim of his presentation was to deepen understanding of concepts in physics and principles of everyday life.
He said that the presentation identified challenges and problems that hindered academic performance of students in physics, identified ways of improving students’ performance, and encouraged student’s interest as well as deepen their motivation in Physics.
When he did his presentation Dr. Turay attributed the poor academic performance in Physics in secondary schools to many factors including fright; attempts to master the concepts of Physics without the use of instructional materials; teaching of physic without instructional material and equipment; lack of interests; poor problem solving and understanding of the concepts of physics; and lack of skill in the practical work, among others.
Citing the Chief Examiner’s Report on the weaknesses of candidates taking Physics at WASSCE, Dr. Turay noted that candidates write their final quantities without unit even where necessary; and in most cases fail to convert units into SI Unit even were appropriate.
Dr. Turay also noted that teachers should work with students to ensure that they understand the concepts, principles and applications of Physics. He also admonished the teachers to exhaust the syllabus and appealed for them to be supported with the requisite teaching materials and equipment. He called on teachers and parents to stimulate the interest of students in Physics, and later advised the pupils to put in reasonable effort to master the concepts of Physics.