Candidates writing the 2016 November/December West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in Edo State have kicked against plan by the examination body requesting them to travel outside of the state to write Mathematics 1 and 2 papers of the examination following clash in the examinations’ time table and that of the conduct of governorship election in the state on September 10.
The candidates, who have spoken about the plan, also said they were yet to be informed about the plan by WAEC and that they were hearing it for the first time.
Reports had indicated that WAEC would ask the 1,742 candidates, who registered to write Mathematics in the state to move to neigbhouring Ondo and Delta states due to the election scheduled to hold on September 10.
Spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, DSP Theodore Okafor, informed our reporter that the police had asked WAEC to exploit other alternatives for the candidates to write the examination as the police were not disposed to having the examination and the election the same day.
Findings by our reporter in Benin City, however, indicated that candidates writing the examinations along with their parents and guardians are not comfortable with the new arrangement, though many of them are largely ignorant of the arrangement.
At a coaching centre located at Ekehuan Road in Benin, many of the GCE candidates, who were preparing for the examination at the centre, said they were hearing the development for the first time.
They, however, expressed dismay at a situation whereby they will have to travel to Ondo or Delta State to write the paper, listing some of the challenges they would face as transportation, accommodation and tiredness.
One of the students, Efosa Igbinadolor, said such arrangement could not work and that it was not too late for WAEC and other stakeholders involved in the arrangement to work out another plan for them.
He said: “How can you ask me to go to Ondo or Delta State to write an examination I registered to write in Benin? That is not possible.”
“You mean I will travel to the place to write Mathematics? Who will pay for my transportation? Where will I sleep? It just cannot work.”
Another candidate writing the examination, Elohosa Osagie, also expressed strong criticism of the plan, appealing to WAEC to work out a better one for them.
“If the story is true, then there is problem. Travelling alone, can make one to lose balance. It can distort one’s state of mind and one can easily forget all that had been read. Locating the place alone could be a big problem. WAEC should please do something about it,” he said.
The proprietor of a coaching class, who declined to give his name, also expressed disapproval of the arrangement, maintaining that he was also hearing about it for the first time.
He said he was not in support of the idea, as the safety of the candidates could not be guaranteed since it would involve travelling over a long distance.
Parents, who spoke with Sunday Tribune on issue also expressed disapproval of the arrangement, pointing out that it was awkward.
Pastor Ayo Oise, whose daughter registered to write the examination in Benin, frowned at the plan, suggesting that WAEC give other options.
He said, “I sympathise with WAEC as they are in a difficult situation. However, I must say that asking candidates writing the examination to travel to Ondo or Delta State is not an option.
“They could have asked the candidates in Benin area to assemble at the University of Benin for the paper. Those writing in Edo Central could also be gathered at a place at the Ambrose Alli University, while those in the Edo North could use Auchi Polytechnic.
“I learnt they (candidates) are not up to 2,000. That appears to me like a workable plan than moving them to Ondo or Delta State.”