Personal Protective Equipment, more classrooms, supervisors and invigilators will be required to conduct the 2020 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination for school candidates, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Patrick Areghan, the Head of National Office (HNO) of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), who made the disclosure on Tuesday at a news conference in Lagos, also warned that inadequate preparation would not be an excuse for examination malpractice.
Areghan said that the examination slated to hold from August 3 to September 5, would be conducted from Monday to Saturday.
He added that candidates would sit two meters apart from one another.
We reported that the examination was initially scheduled to take place from April 6 to June 5, but had to be postponed following the pandemic.
“We are here to acquaint you all with our preparations and readiness for the conduct of the much-awaited WASSCE for school candidates, 2020.
“This examination, which will now hold between August 3 and September 5, covering a space of five weeks, will have candidates sitting two meters apart.
“There is a novel development in this arrangement in the sense that the examination would be held from Monday through Saturday in order to achieve.
“A total of 1,549,463 candidates have registered for the diet from 19,129 schools, including those from Cote D’Ivoire, Benin and Equatorial Guinea.
“Out of this number, 786,422 are males while 763,042 are female,” he said.
According to Areghan, the choice of the period (August 3 to September 5) for the conduct of the examination was made after extensive consultation with governments of all the five member-countries.
“In deference to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the five weeks arrangement was arrived at in order to make room for the other examination bodies to equally conduct their own examinations in good time.
“During the waiting period, we continued to finetune arrangements for the smooth and successful conduct of the examination, and I am happy to inform you that we are ready,” he said.
The WAEC boss added that the council had taken cognisance of various measures and protocols rolled out by the federal and state governments aimed at checking the pandemic.
According to him, the council has encapsulated the measures in a pamphlet which will be circulated to all stakeholders for necessary guidance.
“For the sake of emphasis, schools must provide wash-hand buckets with running water, soaps, hand sanitisers 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 sanitise their hands daily and throughout the duration of the examination.
“Let me assure the public that we shall adhere strictly to social/physical distancing in the examination halls, as we ensure a two-meter distance between candidates.
“This means that many more classrooms will be used and many more supervisors and invigilators required to conduct the examination.
“This has raised the need for the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff, supervisors and other examination officials,” he said.