WAEC expresses satisfaction as exam season begins

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… COVID-19 infected pupil takes part

THE West African Examination Council (WAEC) has expressed happiness with the level of conduct as the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) commenced across the country, yesterday, with COVID-19 infected  pupil participating.

  Head of National Office (HNO) of WAEC, Patrick Areghan, disclosed this yesterday during an inspection tour of some centres in Lagos; saying, he was impressed with the level of compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

  Areghan warned that the council would deal decisively with any act of malpractice, irrespective of who was involved. He warned principals that they would equally not be spared, if any act of malpractice was recorded in their respective schools during the duration the examination.

  “Right now, with the aid of technology, we have caught a supervisor in Nasarawa and a candidate in Rivers trying to snap a question paper and send outside for solution. These persons have since been handed over to security agents for necessary actions. We will stop at nothing to ensure that the integrity of our examinations is not compromised,” he said.

  He dismissed the possibility of lowering the standard of the examination as a result of the pandemic, adding that it would not be obtainable.

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  Areghan said the council was faced with the challenge of increased cost of conducting the examination, as it had engaged more supervisors and invigilators.

  No fewer than 1,550,000 candidates are participating in the examination spread across 19,129 centres nationwide and would be ending on September 12.

  The examination was initially billed for April 6 to June 5 but was suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

  In Oyo State, the exercise began on a faulty note as examination materials and external supervisors arrived late in some schools.

  Investigation in the state capital, Ibadan, showed that the examinations did not begin on schedule, due to the late arrival of invigilators and examination materials.

  Some schools started the examinations almost an hour behind the 9.30 a.m. scheduled for its commencement because of the late arrival of invigilators and sensitive materials.

  Vice-Principal (Academic), Ansar-Ud-Deen High School, Ibadan, Bolarinwa Oluyinka, said she  could not tell why the WAEC supervisor was late even when the school and pupils were ready.

  However, the COVID-19 safety protocols, including social distancing, were adhered to by the authorities of the schools visited.

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  Chief invigilator, Isabatudeen High School, Ibadan, Grace Oluwasogo confirmed that the sitting arrangements were made in line with the WAEC procedures.

  In Oyo, principal, Islamic High School and Chairman, Oyo State Committee on Safety Protocols for Schools on WASSCE, Fasasi Abdullahi noted that the committee had sensitised all secondary schools in the state to that effect.

  In Anambra, Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, said the state government had set up a COVID-19 compliance monitoring team that had been going round on daily basis since schools resumed on August 4.

  The State’s Post Primary Schools Service Commission (PPSSC) has expressed satisfaction with the level of safety compliance.

  Chairperson, Post Primary School Service Commission, Ifeoma Okaro said that most of the schools , in Awka were adhering to guidelines put in place to safeguard lives of candidates and officials involved in the examination.

Similarly, Secondary Schools in  Enugu, Jos, Plateau, and Ondo States also adhered strictly with safety protocols.

  In another development,  Gombe State Public Health Centre has revealed that a COVID-19 infected pupil participated in the ongoing West African Examination Council exams which commenced yesterday.

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  Disclosing this through an instagram  post, the health officials posted pictures on the micro-messaging platform showing a student in Gombe who tested positive to COVID-19 sitting for General mathematics exam.

  The subject is the first major paper since the delayed 2020 May, June exams started.

  According to the twitter handle of the Gombe state public health emergency operation centre, the pictures were taken while the boy was writing his mathematics exams yesterday.

  “What is so different about his pictures is that despite his positive status, he is writing his exam as his invigilator stands behind him in PPE.” The message reads.

  Describing the scenario, report says, the boy appeared very focused on his exam questions as he wore a face mask, with a TV placed above a mackintosh hospital bed, his supervisor stood hands behind him looking above the head of the student.

  “The second frame shows the man holding what looks like a question paper in a nylon jacket as he posed for the camera. “

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