By Uche Amunike
The Ministry of Education has given the assurance that all the candidates that missed the 2021 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, WASSCE in the Southeast region following the enforcement of the sit-at-home by Indigenous People of Biafra will be given a second chance to write the examination.
This was made clear by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono while monitoring some examination centres, Monday.
Echono condemned the destruction of examination centres in the South-East, especially in Imo state, but expressed his joy at the conduct of the examination across the country which was written by 1.57 million candidates.
He noted that apart from September 13 in the Southeast,
he gave the assurance that the Ministry will find ways to see that the candidates who missed examination in the South-East are given other opportunities to re-write it.
He expressed his satisfaction at the fact that examinations were going on peacefully nationwide, considering that over 19,000 examination centres across the country had over 1.57 million registered candidates.
He noted that apart from September 13 in the Southeast, when candidates were prevented from taking the examinations, it was a peaceful exercise.
According to him, the council was complying with all the standards and ethics of examinations and pursuing very hard more cases, incidents or possibilities of examination malpractice because of their zero tolerance for examination malpractice while ensuring that any candidate found culpable will be punished in order to ensure that sanity is restored in our system.
He further added that the ministry did not face a lot of challenges in preparing students for the examination apart from the COVID-19 pandemic. All COVID 19 Safety protocols were strictly followed in centres across the country, he said.
He stressed that although some schools are shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, alternative arrangements were made specially for exit classes to take the examination.
On the areas of examination malpractices, Echono said that cases were usually collated after the examination, pointing out that the culprits will face the consequences.
He mentioned that the Ministry synergized with relevant examination bodies and non-governmental organizations to identify candidates involved in examination malpractices because there were a lot of miscreants who perpetrate and deceive people. He however assured that they will go through a massive overhaul for those people who offer so-called services to candidates.
There weren’t however, much malpractices in internal examinations like the WASSCE and that was because most of the students were already in school.
The Permanent Secretary led the monitoring team to the Federal Government Girls College, Bwari and Government Girls Secondary School, Dutse. The students of Government Girls Secondary School, Dutse fully complied with COVID-19 protocols.
Meanwhile on their part, the West African Examination Council, WAEC, has confirmed that no candidate in Enugu state missed taking the examination, despite the IPOB sit-at-home order.
The Deputy Registrar/Zonal Coordinator, Mrs Eucharia Onodu made this disclosure in Enugu and explained that the sit-at-home order only affected the students emotionally because they had to sleep in their schools overnight in order to meet up.
The government provided them with enough security, so they had no fears of being attacked by hoodlums.
The school also observed all COVID-19 protocols.