No fewer than 701 students have allegedly been denied the opportunity of sitting for the ongoing 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination after the payment of N12.61m fees in Kaduna State.
It was learnt that the 701 students, who are from nine secondary schools across the state, comprising four government-owned secondary schools and five privately owned secondary schools, could not upload their Continuous Assessment on the West African Examination Council portal.
This necessitated WAEC to shut down the portal at the end of the deadline for the registration of students for the examination.
Although the national examination body called the attention of the affected schools on April 1, 2022 to enable them (affected schools) to rectify the anomaly, all entreaties to the WAEC Zonal Coordinator for North-West, Mr Audu Paiku, to reopen the portal for the schools to upload the CASS was rejected.
The affected schools are Government Secondary School, Kuse (all 290 final year students), Government Secondary School, Independence Way, Kaduna (all 150 final year students), Government Secondary School, Kagarko (110 students), Government Senior Secondary School, Iddah (100 students).
Others are Al-Bahmeen Academy, Kaduna (all 8 final year students), Kalhyatu AbdulRahman Bin Auf Academy, Jere (15 students), Great Panaf Schools, Kaduna (13 out of 62 students), ECWA Secondary School, Kubacha (10 students) and Government Secondary School, Mato (5 students).
When our correspondent visited the North-West Zonal Office in Kaduna on inquiries over the matter, Paiku referred him to the Kaduna State Ministry of Education.
Paiku noted that all the required information was with the ministry.
However, our correspondent, who visited the state Ministry of Education thrice, could not meet the Commissioner, Hajiya Halimat Lawal. He was subsequently referred to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry who confirmed the matter; though claiming he had yet to be briefed on the issue.
It was, however, learnt that the state ministry of education had written the National Office of the WAEC through the zonal office in Kaduna over the matter.
The letter dated April 12, 2022, a copy of which was signed by the Overseer of Kaduna State Schools Quality Assurance Authority, Aliyu Idris, requested WAEC to reopen its porter to allow the 701 students to upload their CASS; but the examination body refused.
The Government Girls Secondary School Independence Way, Kaduna, Great Panaf Schools, Kaduna and Al-Bahmeen Academy, Kaduna, while confirming the incident, said they did all they could for their students to join their colleagues in sitting for their final examination but the Zonal Coordinator of the WAEC allegedly rejected all entreaties.