The Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by WAEC commenced with practical exercises yesterday, Monday, April 8, amid worries of the clash in dates with the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), which is scheduled to commence on Thursday, April 11.
The UTME is billed to take place within a week, between April 11 and 17, while the SSCE is scheduled to span two months. However, candidates who are to take subjects like Plumbing and Pipe Fitting, Animal Husbandry, Printing Craft Practice, Auto Mechanical Work, Health Education, Foods and Nutrition, Arabic and French, among others, may not be able to sit the UTME because the dates for these exams fall between April 11 and 17, when the UTME examination will hold.
New information has emerged, stating that JAMB, in a bid to avoid these clashes had initiated the inter-examination-bodies’ meeting to compare notes among the leadership of all the examination bodies comprising of WAEC, NECO and NBTEB.
However, reports say that the head of Nigeria’s Office of WAEC, Isaac Adenipekun, did not attend the meetings but sent in representatives who could not make critical decisions.
The head of Public Affairs Unit of WAEC, Demianus Ojijeogu, when asked about the clash in the dates said that the clash was not unusual, stating how the exam is a school-based examination and not private-candidate examination like its November/December option.
He said; “No one can blame WAEC for the clash because we cannot singlehandedly change timetable in Nigeria. WAEC is a regional examination and requires the input of all the five-member states,"
“And I won’t also agree that we are not in talk with JAMB to resolve this. I want to believe talks are on but until it is concluded, we cannot say anything.”
The Head of Media and Public Relations of JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, said JAMB tried to carry everyone along to ensure that the candidates are not affected negatively in any way.
For now, it is still unclear if and when the two bodies will offer a solution to the problem. Affected candidates have complained bitterly about the clashes, and have asked the two bodies to reach an understanding for the sake of their future.