The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), has warned students, as well as schools, to shun all forms of exam malpractice ahead of the commencement of the examinations.
At a briefing on Tuesday in Yaba, Lagos State, the Head of the Nigeria National Office of WAEC, Mr Patrick E. Areghan, said regardless of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on the country, the standards set by exam body remain intact.
He, therefore, warned that lack of preparedness should not be an excuse to engage in malpractices.
“Gentlemen of the media, these are no normal times. This examination is going to be conducted under a very unfriendly atmosphere and conditions. I will like to use this opportunity to advise all schools and candidates to make the best use of the situation in order to turn adversity into success,” Areghan said.
“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”.
Speaking further, Areghan also warned Schools and candidates to resist the temptation to patronise dubious websites that 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,” he said.
Months after schools have been shut as a result of the COVID-19, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, announced on Monday that the WAEC exams will commence from August 4 to September 5.
While students in other non-exam classes remain at home, the Minister noted that ahead of August 4, provisions for preparatory/revision classes are being made for those who are interested in writing the exams.
The head of the Nigeria National Office of the WAEC, Areghan, also affirmed this position.
According to him, the body has taken due cognizance of the various measures/protocols rolled out by the Federal and State governments of Nigeria, aimed at checking the spread of the pandemic.
“We have encapsulated all these measures in a pamphlet which will be circulated to all stakeholders for their necessary guidance. For the sake of emphasis, schools must provide wash-hand buckets with running water, soaps, hand sanitizers and thermometer hand-gun to check the temperature of all concerned,” he said, adding that wearing of facemasks by all stakeholders and ensuring proper social distancing will be enforced.
Consequently, more classrooms will be used and many more supervisors and invigilators will be required to conduct the examination, a situation which also raises concerns about adequate monetary compensation, as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff, Supervisors and other examination officials.
Areghan, therefore, appealed to governments at various levels, Multi-National companies, corporate organizations and philanthropic individuals, to offer their assistance, to avoid the spread of the disease.