Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 February 2019:
A high-level delegation from the West African Examination Council (WAEC), headed by its Chairman – Baboucarr Bouy from the Republic of Gambia, met with president Julius Maada Bio at State House today for talks.
The sub-regional examinations body was established in 1952 with a mandate to determine the examinations required in the public interest in the English-speaking West African countries, to conduct such examinations and to award certificates of international standard to deserving candidates.
Mr. Bouy said that WAEC has executed its mandate creditably for 66 years in all the member countries and remained the only surviving sub-regional organisation among those established in pre-independence West Africa.
He said that WAEC has remained the most credible and one of the strongest chords that keep the five Anglophone member countries together.
Mr. Bouy expressed appreciation to the many Sierra Leoneans that have contributed, in no small measure, in making the institution the bridge that linked the education sector of member countries, offering the unique opportunity to plan and work together, and forge ahead together as a people with the same destiny.
The WAEC Chairman also said that the organisation has accorded Sierra Leone the opportunity to host its 67th Annual Council Meeting this year, adding that the delegates were looking forward to the event with the expectation of a great performance by Sierra Leone, especially given the premium that the new administration places on education.
“WAEC appreciates the commitment and supports the Government and people of Sierra Leone. We hope and pray that nothing will diminish the stature of the existing relationship between this country and our organisation. Be assured that WAEC is irrevocably committed to ensuring that it does not, in any way, disappoint the government and people of Sierra Leone,” he said.
President Bio told the visiting WAEC delegation that Sierra Leone has been a part of the examination body since its inception, and that as a party to the council, the country has some responsibilities but is faced with challenges.
But he assured the delegation that as a new government they are committed to working with WAEC and willing to be a responsible party going forward.
The president said that his government’s flagship project is education, a major component of developing the country’s human capital.
He said the most important investment in human beings is education and described it as the universal key to unlocking opportunities and surmounting challenges. He added that his government has taken bold steps in transforming words into actions by providing free quality education for every child.
“As a nation, we were once referred to as the Athens of West Africa but through carelessness, we slipped off that position and now we are trying to get back there. It is challenging but we will get there. So far, we are doing well to implement the programme in five months. The education is free but we also want to ensure the standard is competitive around the world.
“We want to appeal to make sure the standard is maintained in education, which is our main concern. We have been quite concerned with a variety of issues surrounding integrity, issues for which we count on you to make sure that those issues are properly addressed so that our kids can have a quality education,” he said.