In response to growing health concern about the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Nigeria, which comprises of Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone, has decided to put on hold the conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for School Candidates, 2020, earlier scheduled to commence on April 6, 2020.
The examination body made the decision as a demonstration of the organisations concern and support for the various protocols being put in place by the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria and the governments of the other member countries to check the spread of the disease.
Patrick Ehidiamen Areghan, The Head of Nigeria National Office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in a statement made available to BusinessDay says the move is as a result of the impact of the novel and deadly Corona Virus pandemic (COVID-19) and the serious implications it has for the conduct of the WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020, coupled with the anxieties it has generated among the populace.
Areghan disclosed that the earlier released Timetable for the conduct of the examination is hereby suspended until further notice.
According to Areghan, “We wish to assure all candidates, schools presenting candidates for the examination, all stakeholders, and indeed, the general public that this decision will be reviewed once the health situation improves. We enjoin all school principals presenting candidates for the examination to please inform their candidates accordingly”.
He however assured that a new date for the commencement of the examination will be communicated to schools and all stakeholders in due course.
It will be recalled that the council of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) had earlier in the week suspended its 68th Annual Council meeting scheduled for Monrovia, Liberia from March 23 to 27, 2020.
The council made the decision after its international A & F Committee, 176th special meeting in Accra where it was agreed that it would not augur well for large gatherings and close interactions which normally characterise the events of the Annual Council Meeting.
Pateh Bah, Registrar to council says as the scourge of the dreaded Corona Virus is rife globally at this period; the council had to take a difficult decision to suspend the 68th Annual Council Meeting until the global health situation improves.
Bah the registrar in charge of Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone however staff of member country to pay closer attention to the health and safety of all members of families.
He however called all necessary precautions to be taken based on informed advice from medical experts and promptly take advantage of the health facilities provided by the government in case of any emergency.
Bah in his goodwill message on the occasion of the 68th WAEC Day celebration pointed out that the Council met the expectations of its publics and satisfied the aspirations of stakeholders in education by executing its mandate creditably across the sub-region.
According to Bah, “We are conscious of the commitment and support received from Council, management has identified a number of latent potentials and mapped out in each case the appropriate strategy that can enhance the quality and scope of productivity in the critical operations of the Council”.
He assures that the Council’s repository of skilled and competent human resources will be exploited to generate more revenue through consultancy services.
He further opines that Funds will be sought through various means to erect befitting head office buildings and establish branch/zonal/regional offices, where necessary, to decentralise operations.