Results & Replacement Checker

Results & Placement Checker

The Problem

1. For a country where over 53% of the population live below the poverty line, buying scratch cards that cost about twice the daily household income – was a challenge to many. Then… having to commute to locations that sell the WAEC scratch card was a challenge for many. Add to that access to internet cafes and having to login, download and print out results… the cost, the logistics, the fact that about half of the adult population is illiterate – the constraints compound. It was particularly difficult for people in the rural areas. I know parents who couldn’t access results until admission deadlines had passed.

2. Being restricted to a single choice school meant that the concentration of choice schools was skewed toward “good” schools. These schools would reach their quota in no time. Students and parents were left to deal with the confusion. A single option, no choice, and little logic to the manual placement!

The intervention

1. By January 2021, less than 30% of the people in SL had access to the internet, but over 90% use mobile phones in SL.

2. So we developed a SMS based result and Placement Checker, giving millions of people the ability to instantly access NPSE results and check for school placement – even people who have the most basic phones and live in the most remote areas benefit from this.

3. For exam results, we pooled data from WAEC, eliminating the need to pay for scratch cards and access the internet.

4. For school placements, we increased the choice of school options from one to three, and replaced the manual placement method with an algorithm that uses two conditions – school intake and school zone.

5. The algorithm puts candidates in descending order of their aggregate score and places them in order of their preferred schools of choice until those schools are filled with the best performing candidate.

6. All primary schools and junior secondary schools are grouped into zones. So if a candidate does not succeed at entering into their 1st, 2nd or 3rd schools of choice, the algorithm will place them into a government/government assisted school with available space that is nearest to their previous school.