Mr Patrick Areghan, Head, West African Examination Council (WAEC), has called on candidates infected with the COVID-19 writing the ongoing examinations not to panic saying “the virus is not a death sentence”.
Areghan, who made this known on Wednesday at the end of a monitoring visit to Federal Government Boys College, Apo, Abuja said that no student infected with COVID-19 would miss the examinations.
“I want to assure you and the Nigerians that anywhere we have COVID-19 candidate, we make sure that he or she writes the examinations. It is not a death sentence, there is no stigma. “We don’t want anybody to miss the exams. It’s no fault of theirs. We can defeat this disease provided we take first-line responsibility,” he said.
The WAEC Head of National Office in Nigeria said that the council had been collaborating with various states ministry of education to look out for candidates infected with the virus.
According to him, when it happens, the ministry of education and the ministry of health in the state will have to come together and get a medical expert that will conduct the exam for the candidate.
Areghan said that such a candidate would write the examinations in the isolation centre. He added that the council would thereafter go to the isolation centre and collect the script which would be put in a special bank designated for the purpose.
“Yesterday we heard stories about some candidates contracting the disease in one state, we quickly got in touch with our officer and he said he was not aware. “We ask him to get in touch with the commission and the commission said that there was nothing like that.
“Yes we are aware that in Gombe, there was one candidate who wrote the examinations for about two days or so and I learnt that the candidate had been discharged from the isolation center,” he said. According to him, the council also heard about one in Kwara and then in Bayelsa, they also carried out massive testing before the commencement of the examination.
“The results have just come out and that the candidates infected have been isolated and we are conducting the examination for them. “I want to assure you and the Nigerians that anywhere we have COVID-19 candidate, we make sure that he or she writes the examination. It is not a death sentence, there is no stigma,” he said. On alleged leaked examinations papers, Areghan denied the rumours saying there was no element of truth in it.
“As I speak with you, no single examination paper was leaked. WAEC does not experience anything called leakage anymore since 1977. “What has been happening is that some so called supervisors who the Ministry of Education repose confidence in selecting men and women of integrity and send them to us to be engaged as supervisor,’’ he said He added that some mischievous supervisors opened the questions, snap it and post it into designated WhatsApp groups for the benefit of their collaborators.
According to him, these are the supervisors that are the bad eggs in the system and all hands must be on deck to fetch them out. He, therefore, commended the students for taking into cognisance the COVID-19 protocols during the examination.
Also, Mr Hussain Adbullahi, Principal Federal Government Boys College Apo, said that the students are complying with the protocols through washing of hands, sanitising and checking their temperature. He called on the Ministry of Education to ensure that those sent for examination supervisor are people of integrity.