WASSCE: Lagos Warns Schools against Malpractice, Reemphasises Safety

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Uchechukwu Nnaike

As the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) continues, the Director General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State, Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, has advised all schools in the state to shun examination malpractice in any guise, adding that OEQA evaluators will be out to monitor the examinations in full scale. She warned that any school that is caught to be involved in illegality will be sanctioned, while calling on all public and private school leaders to continue to make adequate safety provision for the students like the use of masks during the examination, washing of hands with soap and running water and maintaining social distancing in the examination halls.

The DG stated this when she led OEQA evaluators on COVID-19 safety and hygiene compliance monitoring exercise to ensure that schools adhere strictly to the guidelines on safe reopening as specified by the federal and state governments.

The exercise, which cuts across the state education districts, was to supervise the WASSCE examinations to guard against malpractice and to ensure that public and private schools meet the recommended safety standard for reopening. The OEQA evaluators are also to assist schools objectively in assessing the level of safety and security and help to clearly identify areas of improvement, while encouraging them to take concrete steps in addressing identified gaps.

Speaking during the exercise, Seriki-Ayeni stated that all the schools she visited on the first day of the WASSCE complied with all examination procedures. She reminded school owners that it is important to understand that they are partners with government, and the reason for the examination is to build a successful future for the students.

“We must not compromise standard. Therefore, we must ensure that there are checks in place against examination malpractice and against COVID-19 infection. Schools must ensure that they disinfect the environment and make sure students sign in on arrival. Schools are expected to have sanitation managers that will ensure that all environmental and health protocols are observed.

“All schools must also register with OEQA online to obtain clearance for reopening. They must also have learning managers to assist teachers develop learning plans that include distance and blended learning plans to be uploaded on OEQA website; while students should strive to protect each other by using face masks.”

Seriki-Ayeni had enlightened the public during an official visit to Traffic Radio FM on the online registration, saying, “we are supporting schools holistically with an understanding that the registration for reopening for SS3 students and subsequent clearance will assist schools to maintain overall safety and hygiene protocols.”

According to her, “OEQA evaluators are now using technology to scale evaluations for seamless schools registration process. Registering to get a special code is the first part of the process that involves self-assessment, training and verification for clearance.
“Schools are to download the Federal and Lagos State Government Schools Reopening Guidelines and the Safety Guidelines from the agency’s website. All schools must also make provision for isolation room in case of emergency,” she said.