From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Federal Government has hinted that it will reschedule the examination date for thousands of candidates writing the West African Examination Council (WAEC) whose examinations were disrupted by the sit-at-home order in the South East states.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, disclosed the information while monitoring some WAEC examination centres in Abuja, on Monday, describing the disruption as unfortunate.
He asked the affected candidates neither panic nor worry as another opportunity would be provided for them to sit for the examination in a safe and conducive environment.
‘We are very pleased that the examinations are going on peacefully in the 19, 000 examination centres across the country with over 1.5 million registered candidates,’ Echono said.
‘Beside the disruptions that were recorded on September 13th in the South East where some candidates were stopped from writing the examination, it has been peaceful exercise across the nation.
‘Most interestingly was the fact that we are complying with all the standards and ethics of examinations, and we have asked candidates and others involved in the exercise to eschew any form of malpractice because of our zero-tolerance for such action.
‘We shall not hesitate to punish any person found culpable and ensure that sanity and integrity of examination is restored in our system.’
Echono confirmed that cases of examination malpractices are usually collated at the end of the examination exercise, vowing that culprits would be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others who might be nursing the idea of engaging in malpractices.
He said that the ministry was also collaborating with relevant examination bodies and non-government organisations to fish out candidates involved in examination malpractices.
‘This is because we have a lot of miscreants who are perpetrating and deceiving people. We are going to undertake an overhaul for all those offering so-called services to candidates to ascertain their genuineness and intentions. However, there’s not much malpractice in 2021 internal examinations because these are students who are already in school,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the examination, stating that the ministry did not encounter challenges in preparing students for the examinations aside from the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘All COVID-19 safety protocols were fully and strictly adhered to in centres across the country,’ he confirmed.