Today, across the country a total of 531,705 candidates, comprising 269,419 males and 262,286 females from 17,440 schools begin writing this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

The five-day examination is taking place in extra ordinary times when the world is battling with a health pandemic that led to closure of schools among other safety measures that were instituted to keep the citizenry safe.

So the over 500,000 candidates are writing the exams after special arrangements for them to go back to school under strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols to prepare for their final exams.

Thankfully, the students have gone through the preparatory stage and are poised to write the exams knowing that they have adequately prepared for it.

It is our hope that all the 2,007 designated centres for the conduct of the examinations is well secured and with the necessary personal protective equipment to protect the students and their invigilators.

Apart from the provision of the PPE, it is our expectation that the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) would provide the necessary logistics to ensure that the week-long examination takes off smoothly across the country.

We encourage the students to be optimistic and confident that they can pass the exams without external help once they have prepared adequately for the examination. It is our hope that they would put in the best effort and come out successful.

Fortunately, this generation of students are lucky because once they are successful in the BECE; Free Senior High School is waiting for them. They must therefore, be motivated to pass the exams because there are no barriers in entering the next level of education.

It is time for them to show that the efforts put in by the teachers and headmasters in preparing them have not been in vain.

It is public knowledge that examinations of this nature have in the past been characterised by malpractices but with the assurance by WAEC of incident-free examination, we pray that the examination body would plug the loopholes that allow some unscrupulous individuals to help the students to cheat during the exams.

We acknowledge that the GES and the WAEC have announced measures to deal with examination malpractices this year and we believe that candidates would abide by the rules and not cheat in the examination.

We add our voice to the call on candidates to ignore unscrupulous people who walk the corridors of schools to sell leaked examination papers and rather concentrate on passing the examination through their genuine efforts.

We urge all the candidates to remember that indulging in examination malpractices is a criminal offence that can send them to jail.

It is, therefore, important for all the candidates to appreciate the fact that the only way to success is hard work and honesty. Any other way would only land them in trouble.

We call on the security agencies to help deal with all those who would attempt to undermine the integrity of the conduct of the examination which may jeopardise the future of the candidates.

It is our hope that the examination would be incident-free and end successfully.

We wish all the candidates the best of luck. May all their hard work be rewarded with best results.

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