The West African Examinations Council, WAEC, has disclosed that its supervisors and invigilators would be kitted in Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs, during the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, billed for commencement August 4.
The WAEC Head of Nigeria Office, Patrick Areghan made the disclosure while addressing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Areghan, however, called on the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19, State Governments and corporate organisations for the provision of the PPEs, saying that the cost of the commodities was not captured in this year’s budget for the examination.
According to him, it will cost the Council more than N50 million to give one face mask and one hand sanitizer to each of its supervisors nationwide.
He said: “There are many well-spirited individuals donating face masks and hand sanitizers – that is what we are asking for.
“Even if we are going to give only one washable/reusable face mask and one bottle of hand sanitizer to every staff and supervisor that will not cost us less than N50 million.
“And if we make it two per staff and supervisor, that will not cost us less than N100 million.
” A committee has already worked on it; these are not just ficticious figures. We have even done negotiations with some companies.
“If we now say if you have hand sanitizers, give us; if you have face masks, give us, is it out of place?” he asked at the briefing at the Council’s headquarters in Yaba.
“These are not normal times. When we were planning for the examination nobody anticipated a situation like this.
“When we talk about supervision; we used to have one supervisor to 299 candidates. Once it is 300 we now have two supervisors.
“But now we are going to have one supervisor to about 150 candidates in order to maintain this social or physical distancing.
“All these have cost implications. For example, we are going to engage 23, 250 supervisors from 10,667. That is a lot of money.
“Now, we have 19,129 schools. If a school has 300 candidates for example, we are going to have two supervisors. And it also even depends on the number of classrooms they are going to use because we are going to maintain social distancing of two metres apart.
“How many candidates will sit in a hall like this and put one supervisor there? So we are really going to spend more money than originally budgeted.”