From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
As the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) begins across the country, the Rivers State Government has warned schools, supervisors and teachers participating in the examination to desist from any act of malpractices or risk appropriate punishment.
The State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, gave the warning at the weekend in Port Harcourt during the inauguration of supervisors/COVID-19 compliance teams ahead of the examination.
Addressing the teams, comprising the Ministry of Education’s staff, Prof. Ebeku said the state government is allergic to examination malpractices and admonished them against collaborating with schools to engage in such misconduct.
He said: “I know that there are some schools that are centres of malpractice. Some of you know them. If you go there and fall into it, that one will consume you because you will find someone who will not tolerate it.
“I have a lot of information; I know the places they do a lot of malpractice. We have yearly reports from WAEC on schools that have been blacklisted, of individuals that participated in malpractices and I must warn all of about that.
“If you brought disgrace to Rivers State in the past and there was no sanction, now there will be sanction.”
The commissioner also charged the teams to ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 health guidelines.
He said: “We are sending you out in the field to monitor the conduct of the examinations. You are not just going to monitor the examinations; you are going to ensure that the COVID-19 guidelines are respected.
“Wearing a face mask is compulsory, whether you are writing an examination or not. Spacing of the chairs is not negotiable. Hand washing and use of sanitizers are compulsory.
“So, as you are entering the schools, you are starting primarily, with looking at the environment to be sure that it is COVID-19 compliant. Ensure compliance by both students and teachers.”
Prof. Ebeku added that during the monitoring of compliance, the Education Ministry would be distributing more nose masks to all schools.