2023 WASSCE Begins Monday …WAEC Assures On Candidates’ Safety
The West African Examinations Council says adequate measures are in place for the safety of all candidates that registered for its 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates.
The council’s Head. National Office (HBO) Mr Patrick Areghan gave the assurance during an interactive session with newsmen on the level of preparations ahead the examination nationwide, on Thursday in Lagos.
Areghan stated that the examination had been scheduled for Monday May 8 to Friday, June 23, spanning a period of seven weeks.
The WAEC boss said that the council could not feign ignorance of the level of insecurity in the country, hence conducting examinations under such situation had been a daunting task.
According to him, there are many flashpoints all over the country, and conducting examinations in such areas, requires extra security arrangement.
”Consequently, we are liaising with the Inspector General of Police, Brigade Commanders, other security agencies and the various state governments to provide security.
”This is in order to ensure that the examination is conducted under a secure and safe environment. We have also sought the intervention of the Minister of Education in this respect.
”Similarly, our zonal and branch offices have reached out to various security outfits in their respective locations for assistance. Courtesy visits and other forms of appeals have been made and we have been assured of full cooperation of the security agencies to this effect.
”If and when the need arises, schools in insecurity-prone areas would be relocated to safe havens, with the full approval, cooperation and participation of the Federal or State Government concerned,” he said.
Speaking further, Areghan noted that a total of 1,621,853 candidates from 20,851 secondary schools across the country had registered for the examination.
He noted that of this number, 798,810 are male, representing 49.25 per cent, while 823,043 are female, representing 50.75 per cent.
The HNO noted that on the whole, the candidature for the 2023 WASSCE (School Candidate) increased by 13, 868 over the figure of 2022, which was 1,607,985, for the same diet.
He said that for the second time in succession, the council had successfully reverted to the May/June period for the conduct of the examination, describing it as remarkable.
According to him, the significance of this landmark is that WAEC and the various member States, with the exception of Ghana, have again found a common ground in respect of their academic calendars.
”This shows a massive recovery from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our sincere gratitude goes to the minister of Education and his ministry for this memorable achievement and to the registrar to council, for his untiring efforts,” he said.
He noted that the council had established a “Self-Service” system for candidates, through the CHATBOT Platform.
Areghan stated that this was to enable them to access their entries, which in most cases the schools do not allow them to see, contrary to instructions.
According to him, the candidate Self-Service is a service on the Request Management System that allows students to confirm data uploaded for them by schools in order to make necessary corrections (if any)on such.
He said that It provided two key services on the Request Management System — Confirmation of Entry/Registration and Confirmation of Continuous Assessment Score (CASS), among others.
On the issue of the use of National Identification Number (NIN) as requisite for registration for the examination, the WAEC boss noted that though not compulsory, the NIN was made a component of the registration requirements.
”The policy came into being in line with the directive of the Federal Government. Candidates were expected to supply their NIN at the registration stage, but it was not a compulsory requirement.
”This is in order to avoid denying many eligible candidates access to the portal/examination. Even after the registration exercise, candidates were still allowed to submit their NIN for upload.
” Therefore, no candidate was disqualified from registration as a result of non-submission of NIN at the beginning of the exercise, or even later,” he explained.
Areghan, however, frowned at deliberate efforts by some private school owners not to adhere to registration deadline.
According to him, the ugly development has been a huge challenge to the entire examination procedure.
”There was a very serious challenge of non-adherence to the registration deadline, to the extent that what we started on Oct. 10, 2022, with a set deadline of January 27 and eventually extended to March 31.
”It could not even end due to the shenanigans of some private schools who were in the habit of shopping for external candidates to make up numbers, contrary to the policy which does not allow the enrolment of private candidates for School Candidates examination.
”Entries eventually closed on April 15. The examination starts on Monday, May 8.
”But it will surprise you to know that some schools are still bombarding us with requests for entries, even after the pre-examination, examination and post examination materials have been produced and are being distributed to the various states of the federation,” he said.
On the issue of examination malpractice, he warned that the council would deal decisively with any kind, irrespective of who was involved.
According to him, penalties for involvement in examination malpractice will always, without compromise, be meted out to those found involved.
He said that such candidates, invigilators, supervisors, schools, and WAEC officials, among others, as would be penalised as approved by the Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC).
Areghan said that the NEC was the highest decision-making organ of the council that deliberated on examination matters in Nigeria.
He said that council, on its part, had rolled out several awareness campaigns and organised seminars for school proprietors.
Areghan noted that principals, students, teachers and other key stakeholders in branch and zonal offices nationwide had also been exposed to such awareness campaigs, in order to sensitse them of the ills of the ugly trend.
”Similarly, we have made flyers, banners, posters and other forms of reminders to further keep the message afresh on the minds of all stakeholders.
”It is, therefore, on this note that I call on parents and guardians to encourage their wards to study diligently and desist from engaging in any form of examination malpractice.
”The media must play its watch-dog role too. The various ministries of education should call their principals, teachers and other officials serving as inspectors and/or supervisors, to order.
”Supervisors should desist from allowing candidates to make use of their cell phones, or availing the candidates of their own (supervisors’) cell phones
”Any form of aiding and abetting or collusion, should be avoided. Every candidate and examination functionary must play by the rules, which are well stipulated in the WAEC Syllabus and Guidelines for the conduct of examinations, issued to schools.
”Erring schools will be derecognised, erring officials adequately punished, while erring candidates would lose their results,” he warned.
He stated that in line with council’s usual practice, the results of candidates sitting the examination would be released 45 days after the conduct of the last paper.
According to him, the certificates will be printed and issued to schools in less than 90 days after the release of results.
He added that WAEC in Nigeria, in its bid to serve the Nigerian child better, had acquired a state-of-the-art digital certificate printer, that enabled it to print and issue certificates to candidates in record time.
We’ll Expand Socio-Economic Opportunities For All Rivers People -Fubara ……As Wike Bows Out
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has declared his administration’s resolve to expand the existing socio-economic opportunities in order to engender prosperity for all Rivers people.
Fubara made this declaration on Monday at the General Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia, venue of his swearing-in as the sixth democratically elected governor of Rivers State.
Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi, administered the oath of office on the new governor and his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu.
Thereafter, the former governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, handed over the flag of Rivers State and handover notes to his successor.
Fubara, in his inaugural address titled “Together, Let’s Consolidate the New Rivers State”, noted the poor state of the national economy, but promised that his administration would take measures to diversify Rivers economy and insulate it so that it can grow.
He also assured of promoting the climate of ease of doing business in the State to attract direct foreign investment capable of empowering Rivers people.
“The primary responsibility of a new government is to do its best to advance the security and well-being of the State and its citizens.
“Therefore, as we undertake our responsibilities, we promise to stay the course, commit to cooperative governance and expand opportunities for everyone. The wishes of our people for a happy life are our mission in politics.
“We will prioritise the well-being of the State and citizens with a renewed focus on economic growth, people-centred projects and social services”, he said.
He said further that, “We will improve the ease of doing business and sustain a congenial fiscal regime to attract local and foreign direct investments to stimulate greater economic activities, create wealth and improve citizens’ livelihoods.
“We will adopt a re-industrialization policy master plan and partner with the private sector to revive or establish viable industries to create jobs and empower our people.
“We will also support the growth of small businesses and encourage commercial agriculture to achieve food security, industrialization and improved living standards for citizens.”
Fubara added that his administration is already building on the successes of his predecessor and will construct more projects including the Port Harcourt ring road.
According to him, there shall be healthy partnership with private investors to provide integrated inter-modular public transportation system in the State.
“We witnessed unprecedented growth in infrastructure in the last eight years, but there’s still more to do.
“We will follow our leader’s footsteps to invest in capital projects, including roads, bridges, electricity supply to our rural areas, and social housing.
“We will, therefore, partner with the private sector to develop an integrated multimodal public transportation system to advance mass mobility and access to socio-economic opportunities across the state.
“We will also construct the Port Harcourt Ring Road to enhance the mobility of goods and services across the State”.
Fubara said the challenges in the health sector like inadequate manpower and corruption would be addressed to achieve optimal performance.
In the education sector, he promised to provide smart classrooms for students to prepare for global competition, empower the youths with skills to become economically active while being connected to small and medium scale business opportunities.
He said, “We care about our youth. We know they need jobs, opportunities, empowerment and the freedom to build sound, promising futures. We will not abandon our youth to their fate. We will continue prioritizing education at all levels and empower our youth with the relevant skills and opportunities to become economically active, productive and prosperous.
“We believe in the job creation capacity of small and medium enterprises. And so, we shall facilitate targeted access to low-interest funds for youth entrepreneurs to start or improve their businesses, earn decent incomes and generate employment for themselves and others.”
The governor particularly acknowledged the achievements of his predecessor in the health sector saying, “We are also proud of the state’s achievements in the healthcare sector, particularly the construction of new primary healthcare centres, the Mother and Child Hospital, the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostic and Treatment Centre and the contributory Healthcare Insurance Law.
“With what is on the ground, it is evident that the primary challenges with our healthcare system are more with inadequate manpower, corruption, indiscipline and ineffective management”.
Fubara gave a firm assurance by saying: “I assure you that apart from completing all ongoing healthcare infrastructure projects, we will deal with all identified challenges and ensure that the healthcare system functions optimally to deliver affordable and efficient healthcare to citizens.
“We are equally proud of the State’s unprecedented educational advancement, especially in the last four years. Our public schools at all levels, irrespective of location, are some of the lovely and best-resourced in the country.”
According to him, his administration will consolidate on the progress made so far by “introducing smart schools and classrooms across the State to empower our children with world-class learning experiences and make Rivers State a knowledge hub.”
Fubara vowed to be hard on crime and criminality in the State saying, “We will be hard on crime and criminality. We will swiftly and firmly deal with anyone, regardless of status or position, rich or poor, who breaks our laws or dares to violate our environment, peace and security”.
The governor thanked civil servants for their support and promised regular payment of salary, gratuity, more training, promotion for them and housing for low income earners.
Describing the civil servants as members of his constituency, he said, “To our civil servants, I thank all of you for your invaluable contributions to the state’s progress over the years.
“We appreciate your indispensability and promise to meet all our obligations to you, including regular payment of wages, pensions, gratuity, training and promotions. All we ask is your continued patriotism, dedication, and enthusiasm in the execution of your official duties”.
He further promised to govern Rivers people with the fear of God, cognizance of the fact that Rivers is a Christian state.
He also assured the church and spiritual leaders of his administration robust partnership to enhance the moral and spiritual wellbeing of Rivers people.
“Rivers State is a Christian State, and God is our foundation. We shall govern with the fear of God and stay strong to our Christian values of trust, faith, love, care and sacrifice.”
“We shall deepen the inseparable ties between the Church and the State government for the benefit of our people. We assure the Christian Association of Nigeria and other spiritual leaders of our sincere friendship, support and solidarity.
“We will continue to support and work with the Church to defend our faith, advance our values and enhance our people’s moral and spiritual well-being”, he assured.
At the Government House, Port Harcourt, the governor hung the official portraits of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his own and that of his predecessor, Wike.
… Appoints Nwaeke HoS, Ideozu Acountant General
The Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has approved two new strategic appointments in the state Civil Service.
In the latest development, the governor has approved the appointment of the most senior civil servant and permanent secretary, Dr. George Nwaeke as Head of Service, Rivers State.
He also approved the appointment of Dr Uche Ideozu as the new Accountant General of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications in Rivers State, Ibiwari Clapton-Ogolo, Esq, said that the appointments take immediate effect.
The two fresh appointments bring to six the number of appointments already made by the governor since assuming duties on Monday, May 29.
The first set of appointments was the nomination of four former commissioners under Governor Nyesom Wike as commissioner-designates.
The names are Prof Zaccheaus Adangor, Dr Dakorima George-Kelly, Isaac Kamalu, and Prof Prince Chinedu Mmom.
While Adangor was attorney general and commissioner for justice, George-Kelly was works commissioner, Kamalu was finance commissioner, and Mmom was education commissioner.
Fuel Scarcity: Tinubu Resumes Work, Meet With Emefiele, Kyari
President Bola Tinubu yesterday officially resumed work at the Presidential Villa, Abuja where he met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele and the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kyari.
This was the first official assignment by the President after his inauguration as the 16th President of the country at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Monday.
The President arrived at the forecourt of the State House at about 2:30 pm through the quarter guard gate, which is his official entrance gate and was received by the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the outgoing Director of Protocol, DOP.
Others who received him were Emefiele, Kyari and a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. James Faleke, among others.
The President went straight to his office with Emefiele, Kyari, Gbajabiamila, Faleke and others.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public, it may not be unconnected with the removal of fuel subsidy and the attendant fuel scarcity.
It is expected that the issue of unification of foreign exchange, recent Naira redesign, among others will also be discussed.
Recall that President Tinubu had during his inaugural speech announced that the subsidy has been removed and this immediately made filling stations to shut down operations across the country.