The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has urged principals of secondary schools across the country to live up to expectations during the ongoing examination for school candidates.
WAEC Deputy Registrar/Zonal Coordinator, Dr Amos Dangut, disclosed this in Ikeja, at a workshop organized for public and private school principals from three Districts Tuesday in Lagos.
The workshop was held to highlight set rules and regulations, as well as procedures guiding the proper conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates.
No fewer than 1000 principals, drawn from private and public secondary schools in Districts one, four and six in the state, participated in the workshop.
Dangut told NAN in an interview on the sidelines of the workshop that one of the challenges facing the council was that of examination malpractice.
He said that more worrisome was the fact that some supervisors and invigilators connived with some candidates to compromise the integrity of examinations.
According to him, there is the need to brief the principals on the dangers inherent in such ugly trend.
He said it was also necessary to reemphasize their roles during the conduct of the examinations.
“Today, we are doing a brief for principals in three districts of the state which comprise districts one, four and six.
“The briefing session is shared into two. The first session is for principals of all private schools in District one (Alimoso) only, while the second session is for all public school principals in Districts one, four and six.
“In all, we are not expecting less than 900 principals from these three districts in the state. We are actually expecting 500 of these principals in each session.
“The main purpose is to get them acquainted with what is expected of them, in terms of having a hitch-free examination that is fast approaching,” he stated.
The zonal coordinator stated that before now, some principals were not aware of the fact that they were supposed to be in the hall to monitor proceedings during the conduct of the examination.
According to him, there is a need for all the principals of participating schools to stay with supervisors and invigilators in the hall to monitor their activities, including that of the candidates.
“The school principals are supposed to be the hosts and chief security officers during the conduct of the examination.
“They see to it that all necessary information for a hitch-free conduct of the examination is brought to the attention to the candidates.
“They are also to ensure proper registration, that is, correct gender, subjects, names, passport photographs and dates of birth of candidates are supplied.
“They are also to let their teachers who serve as invigilators as well as the students know that cell phones for instance are prohibited in the examination hall.
“That is why we emphasize the need for these principals to monitor their invigilators and supervisors who may want to compromise the examination by using their cell phones to assist candidates in the halls,” he said.
According to him, the council will not spare any invigilator or supervisor caught trying to aid examination malpractice in whatever form.
“If it is discovered that candidates of any school were involved in any malpractice during examination, the invigilator, principal, (proprietor in case of private schools) will be sanctioned and also reported to the Ministry of Education for further necessary actions,” he said.
He noted that so far, many of such erring schools and supervisors had been prosecuted, demoted and prosecuted.
Dangut said he was optimistic that with the workshop, incidents of examination malpractice would be reduced to the barest minimum during the forthcoming examination.
Dorcas Olubodun, Principal, Grimes International College, Alagbado, told NAN that the workshop was timely and a step in the right direction.
According to her, the issue of examination malpractice is a scourge that must be dealt with on all fronts, if indeed the country is desirous of a progressive society.
“I must commend WAEC for taking this step, because this issue of examination malpractice has eaten deep into the fabric of our society.
“It is the role of all of us to also see what we can do as heads of schools to turn this ugly trend around.
“We must say ‘no’ to examination malpractice in whatever activities we are engaging in at school.
“What WAEC is doing here today is quite enlightening and I strongly feel this initiative should be continuous,” she said.
Godonu-Joseph Daniel, Principal, Christ the Ultimate International School in Ago, Okota, said that the workshop had prepared their minds as educators, to know the right thing to do, at the right time.
He lauded the council for the initiative, promising that the lessons learnt would be adequately implemented.
The principal said that should all stakeholders take a firm stand against examination malpractice, the nation would be better off for it.
“These our children are leaders of tomorrow and therefore, it behoves on us to monitor them and ensure that they imbibe the core values that would make them better future leaders of our country,” he said.
Recall that the council’s Head of National Office (HNO), Mr Patrick Areghan, had said that over 1.6 million candidates registered for this year’s WASSCE for school candidates nationwide.
He said the candidates would be examined in 76 subjects, made up of 197 papers, with about 30,000 practising senior teachers, nominated by the various Ministries of Education, participating as invigilators.
The examination, which begins fully May 16, will end on June 23.