The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has said that at least 1.6 million candidates are expected to take part in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) scheduled to commence on August 16.
This is as the council is working round the clock to accommodate some schools that are still processing late registrations.
This disclosure was made by the Head of National Office (HNO) of WAEC, Mr Patrick Areghan, during an interview on Sunday, July 18, 2021, in Lagos.
Areghan said that the development was taking its toll on the council’s operations as the council was working with relevant stakeholders to ensure a hitch-free 2021 WASSCE for school candidates, in spite of some challenges, ahead of the conduct of the examination.
Areghan during the interview said, ”As I have always said, conducting an examination is not a tea party. It is a huge task and requires collaboration of all critical stakeholders, including the media. It requires a lot of preparation and even more, especially in the face of the rising cases of insecurity and the resurgence of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
In conducting this examination, we also want to ensure that the lives of all those involved, including council’s staff, 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.’’
The WAEC boss pointed out that the West African School Certificate was internationally accepted and required protection of its integrity.
He said, ”Therefore, in order not to allow anything 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.’’
The HNO urged schools and candidates to get themselves well prepared ahead of the examination, warning that the council would not tolerate any acts capable of undermining the integrity of the examination.
Going further, Areghan said, ”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.”
The HNO advised parents not to indulge their children and wards in cheating in examinations by giving money to them to source for the questions or patronise rogue website operators and other mischievous individuals, who promise to help get WAEC questions for them, before the examination.
He reiterated that there has been no episode of leakage of council’s examination questions in Nigeria since the last, many years ago as what some sections of the public referred to as leakage during the conduct of WASSCE, was the work of internet fraudsters, who registered and sat with genuine candidates in the hall.