Ebola: Stakeholders Reject WAEC's Decisions to Stop Sick Candidates



Stakeholders in the education sector on Thursday frowned at the decision taken by the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) not to allow sick candidates to sit in the forthcoming November/December examinations.

WAEC had on Wednesday asked sick candidates to stay away from the examination centers. It said barring sick students from writing the exams was part of its contribution to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus.

WAEC also said that it would employ the use of hand gloves, masks and sanitisers in the centers.

However, a cross section of Nigerians, who spoke to NAN in Abuja, said the announcement was uncalled for.

Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, President, Parents -Teachers Association (PTA), said WAEC had taken a wrong decision as it had already entered into a contract agreement with the candidates.

"They called for candidates to come and register without making this statement as part of the conditions for meeting the required qualifications. The candidates have already registered and what right do they have to stop them from writing the examination now.

"If at all there is anything, the best thing to do for the children is to invite medical personnel to screen them before the examination,'' he said.

Danjuma called on the council to put appropriate measures in place to check the candidates before the examination or ask them to come along with medical report.

He also advised the council to reconsider its decision, adding that it should take measures to avoid any legal issue with the candidates.

Mr Emeka Okonta, the Coordinator, Unity Colleges, Federal Wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), said the decision by WAEC was inappropriate.

Okonta said the examination body should derive other means to check the dreadful virus before the examination.

He called on WAEC to partner with the ministries of Health and Education to fashion out ways of testing the candidates before the examination.

"Before Ebola, sick candidates been writing exams; there is a way they can check people who have the virus and I think they should apply that means. And if any of the candidates is not found to have the virus, why would he be denied of the examination, it will be unfair,'' he said.

Mr Ogbonnaya Sunday, President, National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) said the statement by WAEC should not be part of the criteria for writing exams.

Sunday said it was sad for the examination body to make such a statement.

A parent, Mr James Adebayo, said it was wrong for WAEC to ban those who are sick from writing the exams.

"Does this mean that candidates having malaria or headache will not be allowed to sit for the exam? I do not think this is right.

Adebayo said WAEC should carry out investigations to distinguish those who have ebola virus and any other ailment.

"Asking them not to write the exam is like denying them their right,” he said.

He said WAEC should instead employ the use of hand gloves, mask and sanitisers at exams centres.

Mrs Jumai Kadiri, another parent, however, commended WAEC for the decision.

She called on the body to ensure that candidates and supervisors were checked before entering the examination hall.

Kadiri said supervisors must not be left out of the screening.

#WAEC #Ebola