The Ministry of Education on Monday assured that candidates who missed the 2021 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in the Southeastern region following the enforcement of sit-at-home by some secessionists, will be given another opportunity to write the examination.
This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Sonny Echono while monitoring some examination centres in Abuja on Monday.
Echono frowned at the Sept. 13 disruption of examination centres in the South East, particularly in Imo State.
He, however, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the examination across the country which was written by over 1.57 million candidates.
According to Echono, the ministry will put modalities in place to ensure that the candidates who missed the examination in the South East are given other opportunities to write it.
“We are very pleased that all around the country; examinations are going on peacefully as we have a total of over 19,000 exams centres across the country with over 1.57million registered candidates.
“Besides the disruptions we had on Sept.13 in the South East where some candidates were stopped from doing the exams, it is a peaceful examination.
“We are complying with all the standards and ethics of examinations, we are pursuing very hard more cases, incidence or possibilities of examinations malpractice because we have a zero-tolerance for examinations malpractice.
“We shall punish any person found culpable and ensure that sanity is restored in our system,’’ he said.
Echono further said that the ministry did not encounter challenges in preparing students for the examinations aside from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All COVID-19 safety protocols are being strictly adhered to in centres across the country,” he said.
He said that although some schools were closed in states due to the COVID-19 pandemic, alternative arrangements were made especially for exit classes to take the examination.
On the possibilities of examination malpractices, Echono said that cases were usually collated at the end of the examination, pointing out that the culprits would also be brought to book.
He said the ministry was collaborating with relevant examination bodies and Non-Government Organisations to fish out candidates involved in examination malpractices.
“This is because we have a lot of miscreants who are perpetrating and deceiving people. We are going to undertake a general overhaul for all those offering so-called services to candidates.
“We didn’t see much of malpractices in internal examinations like this because these are students who are already in school,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the permanent secretary led the monitoring team to the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) Bwari and Government Girls Secondary School, Dutse.
It was also observed that the students of the GGSS, Dutse, were in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols.