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WAEC Examiners Fret over Payment Delay

Aug 21, 2008, 8:31 AM | Article By: By Augustine Kanjia

Contracted examiners, supervisors, invigilators and verifiers are complaining of what they term as unnecessary delay in the payment of their dues after doing their work for the West African Examinations Council in Banjul.

Those charged with the responsibility of marking the Grade 9 and Grade 12 Examination papers are grumbling about the slow and unnecessary delay those in charge are causing.

A long-serving examiner, who prefers anonymity, said: "The top people at the Council do not care about us. I finished marking about two months back. Whenever we ask them, they blame it on either government's failure to give them their subvention or it is claimed that the person supposed to sign cheques is sick. Whatever that means we don't know."

Many of the examiners who spoke to this reporter expressed frustration at the fruitlessness of the efforts they have been making in pursuit of their pay. "We walk to the WAEC Office paying our fares but Mr. Grant, the man in charge of finance, does not speak to us well. He treats us like children without talking to us fairly," fumed another examiner.

Yet another angry-looking examiner said he had marked over 650 papers, which have been submitted and verified but no one has been telling them the truth about payment for the services rendered. "We blame the problem on the Deputy Director of Finance who seems to have more powers than the Head of National Office (HNO), a source said.

However when contacted Ebrima MS Njie, Head of National Office (WAEC), dismissed the claim that examiners were not paid. "The rumours are unfounded and untrue," he said, noting that payment is in progress but that they cannot pay over 800 people at a go.

Addressing the unpaid examiners and others in the presence of his colleagues in his office, Mr. MS Njie said it was wrong for examiners to disclose their identity. "Under the contract agreement with examiners across West Africa, they are not supposed to identify themselves to the public," Mr. Njie said. He urged examiners to exercise patience because, he added, the payment of nearly 1,000 people could not be done at the same time but gradually.

Meanwhile other examiners counter that the was same problem occurred last year, thus preventing many examiners to take part in the marking exercise this year. "WAEC is not fair to the examiners," said another aggrieved examiner who was standing at the entrance of the WAEC office.