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WAEC Government Syllabus

Get straight A’s when you download and study with this Government Syllabus for WAEC.

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Writing Government in WAEC Exams

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) syllabus for Government is a compilation of the important topics that your exam questions will cover.

Anyone writing Government in the upcoming WAEC exams should read this article to the very end because you not only get to see the list of topics WAEC will set questions from, but you will also see a list of textbooks that will help you understand these topics better and answers to some questions you may have about the exam.

Marking Guide

There will be two papers – Paper 1 and Paper 2.. Papers 1 and 2 will be written in one sitting.

PAPER 1: This will consist of fifty multiple-choice objective questions drawn from the entire syllabus. Candidates will be required to answer all the questions in 1 hour for 40 marks.

PAPER 2: This will be a 2-hour essay-type test consisting of Sections A and B

Section A: Elements of Government Shall contain five questions out of which candidates shall be required to attempt any two. 

Section B: Political and Constitutional Developments in West Africa and International Relations Shall have sets of five questions each; one set for one member country. 

Each candidate is to answer two questions chosen from the set in the country in which he/she is taking the examination. The paper shall carry 60 marks.

Government Syllabus for WAEC Exams

 WAEC SYLLABUS FOR GOVERNMENT
SNTOPICSOBJECTIVES
 THEME
1MEANING AND SCOPE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER – GOVERNMENT(i) Government as an institution of the state
. Definition of state, features, structure and functions.

(ii) Government as a process or art or governing.

(iii) Government as an academic field of study – reasons for studying government.
2BASIC CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT(i) Basic concepts – State, *Society, *Nation, Power, Authority, Legitimacy, Sovereignty, Democracy, Political Culture and Socialization, Communalism, Feudalism and oligarchy, *Liberalism, Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, Fascism, Aristocracy, Totalitarianism.
Meaning and features.

(ii) Basic principles – Rule of Law, Fundamental Human Rights, Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances, Constitutionalism, Political participation, Representative Government, Centralization and Decentralization – (Delegated Legislation, Devolution and Decentralization).
3CONSTITUTIONS(i) Definition and Sources

(ii) Functions

(iii) Types and Features , (Written and Unwritten, Rigid and Flexible).
4ORGANS OF GOVERNMENTThe Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary – Judicial Independence. (Types, Structure, Composition/membership; Functions; powers and limitations).
5STATE STRUCTURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF GOVERNMENT(a) Types – Unitary, Federal, Confederal, Presidential or Non-parliamentary, Parliamentary or Cabinet, Monarchical and Republican.
Meaning, types, features, merits and demerits.
6CITIZENSHIPMeaning, mode of acquisition, rights, duties and obligations of individuals in the state. Means of safeguarding rights of citizens.
7POLITICAL PARTIES AND PARTY SYSTEMS(i) Political Parties – definition, organization/structure, and functions.

(ii) Party Systems – definition, types, merits and demerits.
8PRESSURE GROUPS, PUBLIC OPINION AND MASS MEDIA(i) Pressure Groups – definition, types, mode of operation and functions;

(ii) Public opinion – definition, formation, Measurement and importance;

(iii) Mass Media – definition, roles and impact.
9THE ELECTORAL SYSTEMS, PROCESSES AND ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT BODY(a) Electoral Systems and Processes
(i) Election- Meaning and purpose of elections.
(ii) Franchise – meaning, and limitations.
(iii) Types, advantages and disadvantages of Electoral Systems.
(b) Electoral Management Body – definition, functions, problems/constrains.
10PUBLIC/CIVIL SERVICE ADMINISTRATION(i) Public/Civil Service – Meaning, Structure, Characteristics and Functions.

(ii) Public/Civil Service Commission –meaning and Functions.


(iii) Public Corporations – definition, purposes, functions, control, challenges, need for commercialization and privatization.

(iv) Local Governments – Meaning, structure, Purposes, Functions, Sources of revenue, control and problems.
11PRE-COLONIAL POLITICAL SYSTEM OF CANDIDATES’ RESPECTIVE COUNTRIESThe Structural Organization of the following:

(a) Nigeria – Hausa/Fulani, the Yoruba and the Igbo.

(b) Ghana – The Akan and the Talensi.

(c) Sierra Leone – The Mende and Temme.

(d) The Gambia – The Wolof, Mandingo and Jola.

(e) Liberia – The Vai and the Kru.
12COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION(i) The Policy and Structure of the British Colonial Administration – Crown Colony, Protectorate and Indirect Rule.

(ii) The Policy of French Colonial Administration – Assimilation and Association (Loi Cadre).

(iii) Impact, Advantages and disadvantages of Colonial Rule.
13NATIONALISM IN CANDIDATES’ RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES(i) Nationalism: Meaning, factors and effects.

(ii) Key Nationalist leaders/movements and their contributions.
14CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENTS IN CANDIDATES’ RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES(i) Pre-Independence Constitutions –
(a) Nigeria (features) – Clifford 1922
Richards 1946
Macpherson 1951
Lyttleton 1954

(b) Ghana (features, merits and demerits) – Clifford 1916
Guggisberg 1925
Burns 1946
Arden Clarke 1951
Nkrumah 1954

(c) Sierra Leone (features, merits and demerits) – Slatter 1924
Stevenson 1947
Beresford Stooke 1951
The 1956 and 1958 Constitutions.


(d) The Gambia (features, merits and demerits) – The 1947, 1951,
1954, 1960, 1962 and 1963
Constitutions.

(ii) Post-Independence Constitutions – Features
(a) Nigeria – Independence Constitution, 1960
Republican Constitution 1963
The 1979 and 1989 Constitutions
1999 Constitution – Origin, features, strengths and Weaknesses.


(b) Ghana – Independence Constitution, 1957
Republican Constitution 1960 2 nd Republican Constitution 1969 3 rd Republican Constitution 1979
4 th Republican Constitutions 1992.

(c) Sierra Leone – Independence Constitution 1961
Republican Constitution 1971
The 1978 and 1991 Constitutions,

(d) The Gambia – Independence Constitution 1965
Republican Constitution 1970. 2 nd Republican Constitution 1997

(e) Liberia – Independence/Republican Constitution 1947
2 nd Republican Constitution 1985
15DEVELOPMENT OF MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE CANDIDATES’ RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES– Nigeria
– Sierra Leone
– The Gambia
– Liberia
Formation, Objectives, Sources of Finance, Achievements and Failures
16MILITARY RULE IN THE CANDIDATES’ RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES.– Nigeria
– Ghana;
– Sierra Leone
– The Gambia
– Liberia
Causes, effects and various military regimes.
17FEDERAL/UNITARY SYSTEMS OF GOVERNMENT IN WEST AFRICA– Nigeria
– Sierra Leone
– The Gambia
– Liberia
Origin, Factors, Structure, Features and Problems
18FOREIGN POLICIES OF THE CANDIDATES’ RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES– Nigeria
– Ghana
– Sierra Leone
– The Gambia
– Liberia
Definitions, Factors, objectives, advantages and disadvantages.
19INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONSThe United Nations Organizations (UNO), The Commonwealth of Nations,
African Union (AU) – NEPAD,
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Origin, aims/objectives, achievements and problems.

Recommended WAEC Government Textbooks

  1. ADU BOAHEN, Ghana Evolution and Change in the 19th and 20th Centuries.
  2. SHILLINGTON K. Ghana and the Rawlings Factor.
  3. A HODGKIN T. African Political Parties.
  4. GARBRAH H. K Foreign Policies of Major Countries, Subject Publications, New Delhi.
  5. ADDAE P. G. Senior Secondary School Government Bks. 1&2.
  6. NOFIU S. O. A. A – ONE in Government.
  7. ECHIEFU S. M Modern Government.
  8. APPADORAI A. The Substance of Politics.
  9. PRICE J. H. Political Institutions in West Africa
  10. LEEDS C. A. Political Studies.
  11. AMOA G. Y. Groundwork of Government in West Africa.
  12. DARE AND OYEWOLE A Textbook of Government for Senior Secondary School.
  13. OYEDIRAN AND CO. Government for Senior Secondary School.
  14. FRANCIS ADIGWE  Essentials of Government.
  15. DENNIS AUSTIN Politics in Ghana 1946-1960.
  16. PRAH ISAAC Government for Senior Secondary School

Frequently Asked Questions About WAEC Government Exam

How many papers are there in the Government exam, and what are their durations?

There are two papers in the WAEC Government exam. Paper 1 which is the objective section will last for 1hr 40mins and paper 2 which is the theory section will last 2 hours.

What should I do on the day of the exam to perform well?

Stay calm and pay attention to the instructions. Do not panic whenever you see a question you don’t know. When you get confused about a question, raise your hand and ask the invigilator for clarification.

How can I create a study schedule to cover all the syllabus topics?

Draw up a reading timetable for all the subjects you will be taking in the WAEC exams.

What is the minimum score required to pass the Government exam?

The minimum score which will give you a C6 grade is 50%. Anything less than 50% and you have a D which could affect your chances of getting admission to the university.

How deep should my understanding be for each topic?

You should be able to understand each topic so well that you can apply them to your daily life.

How can I prepare for the WAEC Government exam?

Practice, practice, practice. Study the syllabus, recommended textbooks, notes, andpast questions together. You can also ask your teacher or tutor questions on topics you don’t understand 

 

Are there any specific topics that are heavily tested in the exam?

All the topics in the syllabus above are important and you will be tested on them.

 

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