With opponents of presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, still questioning the authenticity of a secondary school certificate that was released a few days ago, the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES), now known as Cambridge Assessment, has confirmed that Hausa language was one of the set subjects offered in 1961.
Cambridge Assessment made the disclosure in response to an email inquiry asking the agency to authenticate the secondary school certificate result for Mr. Buhari that was released by Government College Katsina. In an email to our correspondent, Cambridge Assessment declined to disclose the APC candidate’s personal records, stating that the agency responds only to requests that emanate directly from exam candidates. “This is in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000,” the agency explained.
Cambridge Assessment was responsible for conducting secondary school leaving certificate exams in the 1960s. The agency was the precursor of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) that today awards the General Certificate of Education to students who pass their secondary school certificate exams.
SaharaReporters had written to Cambridge Assessment amid allegations and insinuations by hordes of Mr. Buhari’s critics, including officials of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and online commentators, that the certificate results released by the APC presidential candidate were questionable. Since Mr. Buhari asked his secondary school to release his results to the public early this week, several persons, including one A.A. Adeyinka, a professor of educational foundations at the University of Ilorin, had claimed that Hausa was not offered as a subject in WASC exams until the 1970s.
In their email to SaharaReporters, Cambridge Assessment made it clear that “Hausa” was offered as a subject in their exams in 1961. The agency’s statement “confirmed that, according to the Regulations for 1961, African language papers, including those for Hausa, were set for the West African School Certificate.”