S/West states seek to open schools for graduating classes

By Felix Khanoba

The six South-West states are set to re-open graduating classes of Junior and Senior Secondary schools for students to sit for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WAEC).
However, they are asking for a 21-day postponement of the crucial exams.

Coming with the Coronavirus pandemic not abating, and the possibility of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, losing a year of education at that level, the state governments are seeking a three-week postponement of schools re-opening either from WAEC or the federal government.

The Federal Government had last week reversed itself after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, opting out of the examinations, saying the lives of students were more important that the exams.

It pleaded with states to consider allowing students losing a year than the consequences of community transmission of Covid-19 in schools environment.

It is curious that same federal government is not against the re-opening of markets, worship centers, resumption of inter-state travel and local flight operations, but insists that schools resumption for the purpose of allowing graduating students take their final exams, will escalate covid-19 transmission.

Concerned citizens have been wondering the extraordinary mode of transmission that schools resumption for the purpose could bring, which the others have curtailed.

Nigerians have also asked for a review of the entire covid-19 management and treatment procedure that seem to be shrouded more in secrecy.

At the end of a virtual meeting on Tuesday coordinated by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, also known as the DAWN Commission in collaboration with the forum of South-West Education Commissioners, Special Advisers on education and the State Universal Basic Education Board chairmen, the South-West states education policy makers resolved to go for the examinations.

In a statement on Wednesday, by the Director-General of the Commission, Alhaji Seye Oyeleye, it noted that “the Forum, after careful deliberations, considering peculiarities of each state and options available reached a consensus on the subject matters”.

According to them: On WAEC examinations; State Commissioners for Education have signified readiness to sit students for the 2019/2020 WAEC examinations.

“At the least, August 3rd, resumption for final year SSS3 students, states should approach the Federal Government at the first instance seeking the postponement of the WAEC exam by at least three weeks from proposed resumption.

“At the second instance states should directly approach WAEC to seek for an extension of the WAEC Examinations to week commencing August 24.”

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