COVID-19: Over 1.5m candidates to sit for WASSCE in less than 20,000 Nigerian schools

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Patrick Areghan, head, national officer of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), says 1,549,731 candidates will sit for the upcoming West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in 19,119 schools across the country.

The 2020 examination, which was scheduled for May, was postponed indefinitely in April because of the coronavirus pandemic. But on August 4, WAEC announced that the examination would commence on August 17 and end on September 12.

There has been concern over the safety of students and their teachers during the examination.

Speaking on a programme of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) on Wednesday morning, Areghan said all COVID-19 protocols would be strictly observed across examination centres.

“For the 2020 WASSCE, we have a total of 1, 549,731 candidates that will be writing the examination at 19,119 schools. Thanks to the minister of education that has made it possible for schools to resume, we all know that only the exit classes are in school now, that has made rooms available for the candidates to sit,” he said.

The WAEC national officer added that keeping to COVID-19 protocols during the examination would cost the body more because more supervisors would be deployed to each centre.

He said the schools must provide face masks for the invigilators and candidates while WAEC would take care of the supervisors.

“We expect that all schools would provide adequate facilities for the conduct of the examinations. Our own is to ensure that candidates are well spaced, keeping to COVID-19 protocol which is two meter spacing. By that, it means we are going to make use of many more supervisors. By our estimation, we are going to make use of two supervisors per class,” he said.

“All our staff are expected to use face masks and the schools are also expected to provide face masks for the candidates and the invigilators. We are responsible for the supervisors. Anybody coming to the examination halls must be checked. The infrared thermometer must be used to take the temperature of the candidates, the supervisors and the invigilators.

“All these are in place. It is a collaborative effort and collective responsibilities of schools, WAEC and all concerned. Al hands must be on deck that is why we have appealed to all to ensure that all these measures and controls will be observed at all centres. We don’t want casualties. We have done our best and we are leaving the rest to God.”

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