In view of the COVID-19 pandemic still ravaging the country, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has released its modalities for the conduct of the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for school candidates.
EduCeleb.com recalls that the examination was earlier scheduled to take place between the 6th April and 5th June, 2020, but had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the pandemic.
It will now hold between 3rd August and 5th September, 2020, covering a space of five (5) weeks.
Addressing journalists at a press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, WAEC Head of National Office, Patrick Areghan said the year’s exam is going to be conducted under “very unfriendly atmosphere and conditions”.
Unlike in previous years, in this edition, papers would be written from Monday to Saturday, in order to be able to achieve the five-week span.
A total of One Million, Five Hundred and Forty Nine Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty Three (1,549, 463) candidates have registered for the diet from 19,129 schools out of which 786,421 are males and 763,042 are females.
Mr Areghan revealed that the choice of the period for the conduct of the examination done in consultation with the governments of all the five member countries before arriving at the period and duration of the examination.
“In deference to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the five-week arrangement was arrived at in order to make room for the other Examining Bodies to equally conduct their examinations in good time,” he added.
“The shortening of the period is also of advantage in terms of reducing the period of mass social interaction with its attendant consequences.
During the waiting period, we continued to fine tune and perfect all arrangements for the smooth and successful conduct of the examination and I am happy to inform you that we are set to conduct the examination in Nigeria.”
Modalities for conduct of 2020 WASSCE
Regarding the modalities for the conduct of the exams, the WAEC chief said it is taking due cognisance of the various measures and protocols rolled out by the Federal and State governments of Nigeria, aimed at checking the spread of the pandemic.
Among such conditions is that schools must provide wash-hand buckets with running water, soaps, hand sanitizers and thermometer hand-gun to check the temperature of all concerned.
Also, all examination functionaries, including the Councils staff on distribution; Supervisors; Invigilators, Inspectors; candidates and school officials will be required to wear face masks, wash and sanitize their hands daily and throughout the duration of the examination.
Ultimately, WAEC said it would ensure strict adherence to physical distancing in the examination halls by making sure that candidates sit two (2) metres apart.
“This means that many more classrooms will be used and many more supervisors and invigilators will be required to conduct the examination,” he added.
The WAEC head also hinted that the development would cost the examining body more than it had earlier planned.
In his words, “This has certainly raised the supervision fee to be paid to supervisors as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff, Supervisors and other examination officials.
“No doubt, all these measures have financial implications which were not contemplated at the time of drawing up the budget for the conduct of the examination.”
He therefore appealed to the governments at various levels, Multi-National companies, corporate organizations and philanthropic individuals to come to its especially in the provision of PPE.
“It is essential that all examination functionaries are well kitted to avoid the spread of the disease.
“May I also use this medium to escalate our challenge to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 and to humbly request for any possible assistance.
“WAEC has Zonal and Branch Offices all over the Federation. The various state governments can donate the required PPE to the WAEC offices in their states.”
To candidates and schools, Areghan advised them to make the best use of the situation in order to turn adversity into success. He also warned against malpractices.
“I must not fail to warn all schools and candidates to shun any form of examination malpractice. Lack of preparedness is not an excuse to cheat. For the benefit of doubt, standards already set remain sacrosanct. Do not delude yourself by thinking that they will be lowered due to the prevailing circumstances. Therefore, as usual, you get what you deserve. It will be a double tragedy for any candidate to write the examination under very difficult circumstances and not to have any result.”
“Schools and candidates must resist the temptation of patronizing dubious websites that claim or would claim to have examination questions at their disposal. We cannot claim not to know that they are right now strategizing on their evil machinations. They are fake and conscienceless destiny destroyers. Self-reliance is the sure key to success.”
The Final International Timetable for the exam is now available at WAEC Zonal and Branch Offices for onward dispatch to schools and Federal and State Ministries of Education.For information on Press Releases, Photos, Promotional Events and Adverts, Please Call or Send a Text to 09052129258, 08124662170 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org