The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) strongly condemns the decision of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to put the cost of the relocation of 1,742 candidates sitting for the ongoing November/December West African Senior School Certificate examination in Edo state to Ondo and Delta states on poor working class parents and guardians. We consider this an irresponsible, exploitative and insensitive decision on the part of WAEC.
According to a report by Punch newspaper of Friday September 2, 2016, WAEC took the decision to relocate the candidates because of the Edo state gubernatorial elections which is to take place on September 10, the day the candidates are expected to sit for Mathematics 1 and 2.
We demand that WAEC bear the full cost of this relocation including cost of transportation and, where needed, accommodation of the candidates. WAEC must also ensure the safety of the candidates as they travel from Edo state to the designated centres in Ondo and Delta states. Already the candidates have already paid the full cost of the examination this year as advertised by WAEC. Placing extra costs on them as a result of unforeseen circumstances is exploitative and insensitive especially at this period when working class parents have seen their living conditions crash as a result of the economic recession.
As a public institution, WAEC has a responsibility towards candidates, their parents and guardians. That responsibility involves ensuring that in circumstances of this nature, candidates, their parents and guardians are not unnecessarily over burdened. As far as we are concerned, since the candidates and their parents were not responsible for the relocation, which was forced by the coincidence of the examination date with the date of the Edo gubernatorial elections, WAEC must bear the full cost including ensuring a hitch free exercise and the safety of the candidates. Anything other than this would amount to gross irresponsibility on the part of WAEC.