Each year over two million secondary-school students across Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia sit coordinated tests known as the WASSCE. In a new CGD working paper, undertaken by researchers from CGD and IEPA-Ghana, we look at English and maths papers in West Africa’s leading high-stakes exams and show that they can vary significantly in difficulty from year-to-year. If exams are not comparable over time then this has implications for countries that rely on results as they make education policy and for fairness for the candidates who sit them.
CGD Policy Blogs
COVID-19 Has Forced Exams To Be Suspended Across West Africa. Should They Be Overhauled Before They Restart?
Earlier today the West African Secondary School Certificate Examinations were suspended due to the threat of COVID-19. The cancellation does provide an opportunity to take a closer look at the exams and make sure that—when students do return—they will face a fair test.
South African Schooling: The Enigma of Inequality provides an incredibly detailed account of inequality in South Africa’s education system. And it does a remarkable job of using government and survey data, along with detailed accounts of policy negotiation and reform, to explain why it is that the more things seems to change, the more they stay the same.
Within the field of global education, we hear repeated arguments that African research is undervalued and does not get the visibility it deserves. In response, Addis Ababa University, CGD, DFID, and the REAL Centre hosted an event aimed at elevating the evidence on African education. Here are the takeaways.