As WAEC supervisors cry out over non-payment of entitlement,3 months after
It is some three months after the conclusion of the 2023 May/June West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the result of the examination is even released for checking by candidates which is commendable as secondary school leavers can use their results to access higher institutions of learning in the next academic session.
However, it is a different story for the supervisors of the exam who bore the enormous brunt to ensure the examination took place under an atmosphere of prudence. It could be said that the conduct of the examination this year was one of the best in recent years as there was strict compliance with the examination supervision rules. Supervisors were more vigilant and up and doing thereby helping to stave off examination malpractices which have become a serious blot to examinations in this part of the world.
The determination of the examination body to stamp out this menace or reduce it to the barest minimum really paid off this year – what with the harsh sanctions against supervisors, principals and invigilators in schools suspected of aiding and abetting the infraction in 2022! Thus, supervisors and all stakeholders sat up and ensured greater prudence this year.
Supervisors who are secondary school teachers in the public axis apart from fulfilling a statutory obligation also participate to make extra income to care for their families. Many are impoverished due to inadequate figures taken home as salaries. It is indeed why some look the other way when perpetration of exam malpractices unfolds as they would have been tempted and done in with pecuniary gains from unscrupulous school administrators, parents and students. Some also succumb to threats to allow it.
Thus, the supervisors did their best in cooperation with school administrators to forestall the imprudence this year, whose outcome has helped to actually determine the state of our education in view of the poor results posted generally by many students especially in public schools.
It is therefore appalling that the supervisors who sacrificed everything to make this possible are yet to be remunerated three months after the exam that lasted two months ended. This is one of the painful paradoxes of Nigeria. Examination malpractices flourish partly because of cupidity for illicit income by supervisors of exams who succumb to monetary inducement. But many forsook that ignoble path this year hoping to derive just satisfaction from the meagre remuneration from WAEC (yes, it is meagre according to many teachers who lamented in my presence) only for the payment to be delayed inexplicably.
Instead of building on the achievements of this year exam conduct WAEC is sending yet a wrong signal that you help yourself when you could since you are not sure of when your legit wage will come. Bearing in mind the excruciating hike in transport fares this year ostensibly due to removal of fuel subsidy which shot up the price of fuel, it is inconsolable that the supervisors are yet to be paid, five months after start of and three months after conclusion.
It is inadvertently reinforcing the culture of self-help during the conduct of exam that “righteousness” is after all bunkum. It is regrettable. You used people to conduct exams you took fees for; those incurred expenses and sacrificed their comfort and freedom; worked under intense anxiety to escape being implicated or outsmarted by unrepentant perpetrators of exam heist but three months on, their entitlement has grown wings or how does one justify this? No communication with the supervisors as to the reason for the delay and to assure them of payment. Many of the teachers rely on this “meagre” money to attain a little relief from mountainous debts, insufficient food and other domestic necessities.
I decided to write on this because I have been inundated with calls and requests to prick the conscience of the highly revered examination body on the vexatious issue. I pray WAEC will see this humble piece and assuage the feelings of their ad-hoc staff. Or perhaps the body is working on reviewing and increasing the wages for supervision of WAEC. That is the only plausible reason in my estimation.