Students who went to collect their original West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) certificates at the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) head office in Freetown this week were shocked to learn that they had to pay the sum of Le 150,000 before they could be given their certificates.
During the previous week, candidates who went to collect their certificates were not asked to pay a single cent. The new charges came as a result of a mad rush of graduating students who were mandated by the universities to submit their original certificates for verification.
Chaos erupted on Tuesday, when students demanded to know the rationale behind the sudden change in payment.
It appears the change will only affect private students who took the WASSCE exams because government schools are yet to enforce the new practice. According to an unnamed source at WAEC, the certificates are a right that students are entitled to without having to pay a single cent.
A receptionist at the WAEC office who was asked for direction to the relevant authorities for clarification, declined to give her name saying that it is an order from WAEC Council and this reporter should visit the result center for further enquiries.
Checking there also for verification, they too declined to grant an interview and requested the reporter to write a letter to the Head of National Office of WAEC who should give them the order to speak to any newsman.
Scratch cards are now sold at Le30, 000 which also comes as a surprise to many students who are working against the stated date of Saturday for verification.