Rescind Your Decision on 2020 WASSCE – Reps Ask FG

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Rescind Your Decision on 2020 WASSCE - Reps Ask FG
Nwolu Obiajulu

Nigeria’s House of Representatives have asked the Federal Government to reconsider its position on the cancellation of the 2020 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Their position was contained in a statement released in Abuja by the Chairman of the   House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Julius Ihonvbere (APC-Edo) on Friday.

Mr. Ihonvbere, a professor, said the committee was left bemused by the decision of the Ministry of Education which was conveyed by the Minister of Education in a broadcast where he said students in Nigeria would not be partaking in the 2020 WASSCE due to coronavirus scare.

He said the Education minister failed to tell the country if the decision was reached alongside other West African leaders or in consultation with the examination bodies, state governments and other key stakeholders in the education sector.

The lawmaker recounted the assurance given by the minister of state for education during several press conferences by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, guaranteeing that the ministry was making concerted effort at ensuring compliance with all laid down coronavirus safety protocols in schools.

“This sudden policy reversal is not good for the country; it is bound to create further confusion in the education sector, create disappointment and suspicion among parents, and frustrate the students.

“It would show our development partners and Nigerians that the distortions and disarticulations in the sector are only getting worse.

“The reversal also shows that our policy makers may just be adopting a laid-back approach to the need to confront the novel coronavirus rather than taking proactive and creative steps to manage and contain it,” he said.

Ihonvbere called on the minister to reconsider the decision reached to ensure that students in Nigeria do not get left behind by their contemporaries in other West African countries.

“Nigeria is not the only country expected to write the examination in the midst of COVID-19; Nigeria should insist that the examination be based exclusively on the already covered syllabus of schools.

“The Federal Ministry should not chicken out of its responsibilities, but take charge, provide policy direction, engage the states and other stakeholders.

“We recommend that WAEC quadruple its invigilators and use all classrooms and event centres to conduct the examination and comply with COVID-19 protocols.

“The Ministry of Science and Technology as well as the Ministries of Environment and Health should immediately work out an agenda to fumigate all classrooms, provide handwashing buckets with soap and water, and facemasks to all students.

“Students should come from home, write the paper and disperse immediately,” he said.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct all ministers to return to their states to work with the governors to ensure smooth implementation of the policy and conduct of the examination.

According to the legislator, “we are parents just like the minister and no Nigerian parent would want to delay, distort, even terminate the progress of any child.”

He expressed the committee’s conviction that WASSCE could be safely conducted with no repercussions if the protocols are implemented effectively.

Source: Premium Times

This post was written by Nwolu Obiajulu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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