Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president of Nigeria and Reno Omokiri, a former presidential media aide have spoken against FG’s decision to cancel West African Senior School Certificate Examination WASSCE for this year.
The Cancellation was earlier announced by the minister for education, Adamu Adamu on Wednesday, 8th July, 2020 where he said that he would prefer that students lose one year to losing their lives.
Atiku however said that cancelling the WASSCE will put students lives at a greater risk.
”As a parent and investor in the education sector, I wish to register the fact that the Nigerian government’s policy of unilaterally cancelling the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, held annually by the West African Examinations Council, is not in Nigeria’s best interest.
At a time of the global COVID19 pandemic, it is understandable that an abundance of caution be put in place to save lives. However, caution, without consultation, and thoughtful action, may be counter productive.
1.5 million Nigerian youths write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination annually. To abruptly cancel this examination is to set back our nation’s youth, and place them behind their contemporaries in other West African nations. This is perilous, because Foreign Direct Investments and other economic indicators, are tied to the educational indexes of nations.
Already, Nigeria lags behind other African nations in crucial indices, like school enrolment, pass rates, and out of school children. This action, will further create chaos in the public education system and exacerbate an already bad situation.
Rather than cancellation, there are better ways to protect the health of Nigerians and prevent the pandemic from escalating. We could mobilise all available public and private infrastructures including primary schools, stadia, and cinemas, for the examinations. In the alternative, the Federal Government can prevail on WAEC to have a staggered examinations with a different set of questions for each shift. Doing so will allow WAEC Nigeria implement social distancing and achieve the goal of carrying out the examinations. A win-win scenario.
I urge this administration to take into account that the lives they are trying to save will be further put at risk, because if this policy is not reversed, tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of Nigerians, will breach social distancing rules to cross over to neighbouring West African nations to write their WASSCE, rather than miss a year.”
Reno took his social media handle to express his opinion as well , saying that the education system in Nigeria does not have the capacity to handle overwhelming number of students to sit for the exam at once.
” 1.5 million Nigerians write WASSCE every year. Nigeria does not have the capacity to hold WAEC exams for 3 million people next year. What this means is that, if this policy is not reversed, every Nigerian child will miss a year, not just the final year students.
Edo has 2,210,534 voters, while Ondo has 1,822,346. A total of 4,032,880. WAEC has 1.5 million registered students in Nigeria. WAEC exams takes 5 hours. Voting takes all day. So, what is the rationale for suspending WASSCE, yet go on with Edo and Ondo elections?
Ghana opened schools for final year students and confirmed that WAEC examinations will hold. Meanwhile, Nigeria suspended WAEC exams. That is because Ghana’s President, @NAkufoAddo is a graduate of @UniofOxford, and General @MBuhari has questionable WAEC status!”
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