Shun Malpractice, WAEC Warns Students Ahead Of Exams

WAEC Officials at a press briefing In Lagos on July 7, 2020.

 

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.

Read Also: WAEC Examinations To Commence On August 4 – Education Minister

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.

Read the full details of the address below.

ADDRESS BY MR. PATRICK E. AREGHAN, FCGP HEAD OF THE NIGERIA NATIONAL OFFICE OF THE WEST AFRICAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL (WAEC), AT A PRESS BRIEFING ON THE CONDUCT OF THE WASSCE FOR SCHOOL CANDIDATES, 2020 HELD ON TUESDAY, JULY 7, 2020 AT THE WAEC NATIONAL OFFICE, YABA, LAGOS

Gentlemen of the media, on behalf of the Registrar to Council, the Management and Staff of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Nigeria, I am delighted to welcome you to this press briefing, my first with you since assuming office as the Head of the Nigeria National Office of WAEC. We have invited you here today to acquaint you with our preparations and readiness for the conduct of the much-awaited WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020.

As you are aware, the examination was earlier scheduled to take place between the 6th of April and 5th of June, 2020, but had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The examination will now hold between 3rd August and 5th September 2020, covering a space of five (5) weeks. There is a novel development in this arrangement in the sense that the examination would be held from Monday through 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.

The choice of the period (August 3rd to September 5th, 2020) for the conduct of the examination was not arbitrarily set. WAEC consulted extensively 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. 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.

In conducting the examination, we have 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. All examination functionaries, including the Council’s 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.

Let me assure you and the general public that we shall adhere strictly to social/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. 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. The big question looming now is how can this extra fund be raised?

On this note, therefore, we are appealing to the governments at various levels to come to our aid. We equally call on Multi-National companies, corporate organizations and philanthropic individuals to donate these PPE to us. 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.
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.

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 has been sent to all the WAEC Zonal and Branch Offices for onward dispatch to schools and Federal and State Ministries of Education.

Finally, Gentlemen of the media, I want to thank you once again for honouring our invitation to this Press Briefing.
God bless you.

Edo Govt Shuts Secondary Schools Over Alleged Cultism

A file photo of Edo State Acting Governor, Philip Shaibu.

 

The Edo State government has ordered the closure of two secondary schools in the state with immediate effect, Ihogbe College and Oba Akenzua II.

The acting governor of the state, Philip Shaibu, gave the order on Monday following a series of alleged cult clashes involving students from the schools.

He ordered the closure during an unscheduled visit to the schools, saying the state government took the decision after a series of consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Mr Shaibu, however, noted that students in JSS3 and SS3 would not be affected by the closure as they have to prepare for the forthcoming examinations.

Meanwhile, the acting governor met with parents of the students at the premises of one of the schools.

He explained that the schools would be closed a week early to allow a mentorship committee set up by the government to address the incessant clashes between the two adjoining schools.

According to him, the committee will come up with solutions to the lingering crises and produce a template that will ensure that the students imbibe acceptable social behaviours and good morals.

“what is key is that these students need serious moral rearmament. We have to refocus their minds towards education.” Shaibu said.

Educationists Underate UBE In Bayelsa State

UBE, Bayelsa StateEducationists in Bayelsa State say the Universal Basic Education (UBE) has not done as much as was expected in the state.

Although they lauded the programme, the academics believe the pitiable condition of the government-owned public schools had led to an increase in the number and patronage of private- own schools in Bayelsa State, south-south Nigeria.

They alleged that the involvement of politicians in the implementation process had brought the education sector to a state of decay.

The educationists further requested for an immediate intervention, with special reference to the primary and secondary schools in the oil-rich state.

A former State Chairman, Nigerian Union of Teachers, Mr Alabo Erewari, lamented that the UBE in Bayelsa State was not effective.

He noted that the state had been selective in its interpretation of the programme, stressing that it has not comprehensively implemented the programme.

The Principal of Agudama Comprehensive High School in Agudama-Ekpetiama, Mrs Akanyo Dorcas, also said that schools in Bayelsa State were now in a worse situation.

Channels Television crew which visited some of the primary and secondary schools in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, said that the structures were in dire need of renovation.

The UBE programme, which was launched by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on September 30, 1999, was intended to be universal, free, and compulsory.

The goal of the programme is to provide functional, universal, and quality education for all Nigerians irrespective of age, sex, race, religion, occupation, or location.

The UBE programme was implemented in Bayelsa State to significantly improve the education deficit in the state.

Labour Unions Disrupt Education Forum In Oyo

Education, Oyo, Labour UnionsLabour unions Wednesday disrupted a stakeholders’ interactive forum on the future of public secondary schools in Oyo State, southwest Nigeria.

Some members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state invaded the Western Hall venue of the forum to chase participants out in the process.

The state’s NLC Chairman, Waheed Olojede, NUT Chairman, Niyi Akano, and the Coordinator of the Joint Action Front, Dr. Ademola Aremu, among other union leaders stormed the venue to prevent any dialogue from taking place.

Some of the participants, who came to represent missionaries at the event, had to scamper to safety as banners were torn while other stakeholders were chased out.

In a swift reaction, the Oyo State government condemned the attack on innocent members of the public describing it as ‘uncivilised and ill advised’.

Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Mr Olalekan Alli, said government was not selling any school nor returning any to former missionary owners.

FEC Approves Text Books Worth N8.6bn For Primary And Secondary Schools

The Federal Executive Council has approved contracts over 8.6 billion naira for the supply of text books to public primary and junior secondary schools in the country.

The contracts were validated following a memo by the Education Minister, Raquyat Rufai for the provision of text books on Mathematics, English Language, Science and Technology.

Briefing journalists after the meeting the Information Minister said flanked by the education Minister and his state education counterpart, Nyesom Wike stated that the 400 million textbooks and other resource materials will be customized with the inscription: “FGN-UBEC 2012 intervention, not for sale” and state codes for easy tracing in case of diversion to unauthorised places will also be imprinted on these books.

The council also approved the contract to locally procure 40 utility vehicles for field works ahead of the 2016 national population census. President Jonathan gave the National Population Commission directives to procure the vehicles locally so as to encourage, develop and provide foundation for local manufacturers in the automobile industry.

Yobe Governor Shuts Down Secondary Schools After Attack

Yobe state governor Ibrahim Gaidam has visited Government Secondary School Mamudo 24 hours after unknown gunmen had attacked and killed twenty students and one teacher in the school.

The State Commissioner of Education Alhaji Mohammed Lamin informed the governor that two more students later died while on admission in the Potiskum General hospital as the death toll rose to 24, adding a resident of Mamudo who was traced to his home and killed shortly after the attack on the school.

According to the commissioner, the hoodlums assembled the students before shooting at them from different directions as the students scampered to safety.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam who was visibly touched by the killings described it as inhumane and noted that God will expose the perpetrators and sponsors of the dastard act.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam called on the security forces to change their modus operandi in checking the activities of the dreaded Islamists to end the ceaseless attacks in the state and the north-east zone as a whole.

He also called on the Chief of Defense Staff and the security forces to as a matter of urgency consider the restoration of GSM services in the three states under the state of emergency as residents are finding it difficult to report perpetrators of the acts to relevant authorities as residents who has information to divulge to security agents are not able to reach the JTF.

He said in the two separate attacks on schools in the state, it was reported that residents saw the hoodlums at suburb of Damaturu the state capital but JTF could not be reached because of the absence of GSM services.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam also revealed that boarding schools in the state will be fenced as the Joint Task force will provide the needed security across all schools in the state.

Yesterday’s attack has brought the number of schools attacked by the insurgents to two.

The three states under state of emergency have been without the services of the GSM networks all with the aim of curtailing the grouping and regrouping of the insurgents.

Meanwhile, the Yobe state governor Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam has directed that all secondary schools in the state be closed down from Monday 8th July until a new academic session begins in September.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Information Abdullahi Bego shortly after returning from Mamudo says “the measure is to allow government in collaboration with the Military Task Force and community leaders to evaluate and evoke better and additional strategies that would ensure the safety of and security of students and their teachers”.