From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
As West Africa Examination Council, (WAEC), begins its annual Secondary Schools Certificate Examinations today August 17, 2020, the Rivers State government has warned schools, supervisors and teachers participating in the examination to desist from malpractice or face sanction.
Professor Kaniye Ebeku, the State Commissioner for Education, gave the warning last week during the inauguration of supervisors/COVID-19 compliance teams ahead of the kick-off of the examinations.
Addressing the teams, comprising of Ministry of Education Staff, Prof Ebeku said the state government frowns at examination malpractices and admonished them against collaborating with schools to engage in misconducts.
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 report 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 Education 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 of facemasks is compulsory, whether you are writing examinations of not. Spacing of the chairs is non- 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”.
Professor Ebeku further stated that an inter-Ministerial covid-19 Committee of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health has been set up to attend to emergencies during the examination.
He said: “We are going to have two teams, roving teams, medical team, combined with Covid-19 compliance teams.
“You are at once supervisors and COVID-19 compliance team going to different areas, but there will be a roving team that will combine with medical personnel put together by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health; they will be attending to emergencies
Ebeku added that during the monitoring of compliance, the Education Ministry will be distributing more nose masks to all schools.