The West African Examinations Council [WAEC] says it arrested some supervisors and candidates, who tried to undermine the integrity of its ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination [WASSCE].
The council’s Head, National Office, Mr Olu Adenipekun, who made the disclosure on Monday in Lagos, said the conduct of the examination, expected to be concluded this week, had been smooth.
The May/June WASSCE began on Monday, April 8 nationwide and in all the member countries.
“I just want to report that quite a number of candidates have been arrested, including some supervisors in different parts of the country, during the conduct of this examination.
“For the candidates, I may not be able to give you the number now but that of the supervisors, it is four or five,” the Adenipekun said.
He said that the apprehended candidates smuggled their telephones into the examination hall and attempted to use them to take photos of some of the pages of the question papers to share via Whatsapp platform.
“This was for their collaborators outside to provide answers to the questions and then return same to them via the same platform.
“We also had supervisors, about four or five of them, who also got involved in this kind of examination malpractice.
“They got to their various schools, opened the bag containing the question papers, and the first thing they did before distributing the papers to candidates was to use their telephones to snap pages of these question papers and equally post to their mercenaries outside,’’ he said.
According to him, if a paper is supposed to start by 9.30 a.m. for instance, and by that same time, someone has posted it on social media, the council will have no choice than to query the supervisors.
“Unfortunately for them all, we already have a tracking system that allows us to detect this malpractice very quickly.
“For instance, right here in Lagos, I can easily tell my officers on the field that a certain candidate in a certain school at a certain centre has just posted pages of the question papers on Whatsapp at a particular time. So, please go there and pick him or her up.
“This has yielded a lot of results because, as we all know, this is a technological fraud.
“The best way to fight it is also to deploy technology which has been of tremendous success in tracking and monitoring during the conduct of our examination,’’ he said.