The Nation (Nigeria)



1.6 million candidates are expected to participat­e in this year’s West African Senior School Certificat­e Examinatio­n (WASSCE) scheduled to begin on August 16.

The Head of National Office (HNO) of West African Examinatio­n Council (WAEC), Mr. Patrick Areghan, gave the figure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.

Areghan said the council was working hard towards accommodat­ing some schools still bothering it with late registrati­on.

The HNO said the developmen­t was taking its toll on the council’s operations.

He said ahead of the conduct of the 2021 WASSCE, the council was working with relevant stakeholde­rs to ensure a hitch-free examinatio­n for school candidates, despite some challenges.

“As I have always said, conducting an examinatio­n is not a tea party. It is a huge task and requires the collaborat­ion of all critical stakeholde­rs, including the media.

“It requires a lot of preparatio­ns and even more, especially in the face of the rising cases of insecurity and the resurgence of Coronaviru­s pandemic in the country.

“In conducting this examinatio­n, we also want to ensure that the lives of all those involved, including the council’s workers and materials, are properly secure.

“Our arrangemen­t for the successful conduct of our upcoming examinatio­n, therefore, is in top gear as we are ensuring that we do not leave any stone unturned,” Areghan said.

The HNO stressed that any examinatio­n conduct required money and other resources.

According to him, the entire process of conducting the examinatio­n – from printing of examinatio­n materials, distributi­ng them and ensuring security to recruitmen­t of ad hoc workers and printing certificat­es – is a huge financial burden.

Areghan assured all stakeholde­rs that WAEC would continue to do its best to stay afloat.

“It is what the council has been doing, and we want to ensure we continue in that excellent tradition,” he said.

The HNO said West African School Certificat­e (WASC) was internatio­nally accepted and required protection of its integrity.

“Therefore, in order not allow anything to reduce that standard, we shall be collaborat­ing with the Federal and state ministries of Health and Education as well as the police and other security agencies.

“This is in a bid to ensure that all precaution­ary measures are in place before, during and after the examinatio­n,” Areghan said.

The HNO added that WAEC officials had been meeting to fine-tune strategies that would ensure a hitch-free conduct of the examinatio­n.

He urged schools and candidates to get themselves well prepared ahead of the examinatio­n, warning that the council would not tolerate any act capable of underminin­g the integrity of the examinatio­n.

“There is no hiding place for cheats. We want to warn schools, students and even supervisor­s and invigilato­rs that there will be no hiding place for anyone who tries to go against laid-down rules for the conduct of this examinatio­n.

“We will surely catch that person, no matter where the malpractic­e is being carried out.

“We have in-built mechanisms to detect every act of cheating. Cheats, when caught, will not get their results.

“Even if you cheat in our objective test, we will catch you, using technology. This technology is called the Item Deferentia­l Profile. It has been there for quite some time,” Areghan said.

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