Nigerians have expressed mixed feelings over the decision of the federal government on the resumption of schools and the eventual cancellation of the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) to be conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
On Wednesday, the federal education minister, Adamu Adamu, told state house correspondents that the Nigerian government would not expose students to the coronavirus, saying it is not yet safe to resume schools and consequently, the Senior School Certificate Examination cannot hold in Nigeria.
Although he did not specifically said the examination will not hold, he said students of unity schools will not participate in the examination while pleading with state governments who control state schools to think along his line, thereby keeping the students at home for the period.
He said WAEC cannot determine when schools should resume for the federal government. He said when the environment is safe, the schools will resume. By his statement, he has foreclosed the resumption of schools and the writing the examinations for the year 2020. The examinations include WAEC, NECO and NABTEB.
WAEC is a regional examination, comprising countries in the West African sub region while NECO and NABTEB are examinations coordinated and organised within Nigeria.
Arising from the statement of the minister of education, Nigerians have reacted in diverse ways to the decision of the government of Nigeria. One Michael Olanrewaju Onyedikachi is unhappy over the cancellation of the examination by the government. He said they cancelled exam of children but they will hold election in Edo and Ondo states.
He added that businesses are flowing, they have opened airports but schools are closed.
Otobong Harry said: “Airports, markets, malls can open but the government cannot provide the needed safe environment for WAEC candidate? It’s quite pathetic.
Godwin Nwobike said: “This is the best decision taken by the federal government of Nigeria. The life of our children is more precious to us than WAEC. Kenya has cancelled one academic session.”
Erasor Tidanica said: “And they want to conduct elections in Edo? Markets are opened, public transport services opened, children roam the streets hawking .Nigeria is a damn country.”
Olugbenga Yusuf Agbelu said: “This sound good on the surface but not on critical analysis. WAEC is an examination for a child (minor). Before examination, there should be learning. Learning has not taken place in the last 4 months as schools have remained closed. So what is the sense in taking an exam that has not been properly prepared for?
What is more important taking the exams or having the capacity to pass? We all know the reasons the schools are closed, that is not debatable here. Elections on the other hand are for adults. It is a one day event and can be controlled. It is also not compulsory for everyone to participate. It is also a constitutional issue that may set the nation into a constitutional crisis.”
Kingsley Ukaegbu said: “Terrible decision. Examination halls are the easiest place to instill social distancing.”
Ayobami Obawura said: “It is not a good decision. “This shows we are backward. Conduct the exams online with at least 2 months of training for the students on how to go about it. You can’t shut down Schools for almost one year. These people lack ideas to lead this country forward.”
Chogudo Muhammad Jamiu said: “For the first time sir, I am on different wave length with you. Why would FG stop our students from taking part in the forthcoming SSCE exams but same people are heavily preparing for the forthcoming governorship elections? Such decision is quite irrational sir.”
Etz Rowolo Olowo said:”I totally disagree with you on this. If electoral campaign can be done in this critical time, with so much gathering why can’t school be reopened, especially for final students in the country?”
Adama Michael said: “This is a serious setback for the country and you are hailing it? If airports, markets, banks can be opened then what stops the government from putting safety devices in place for students to write their WAEC, government is just shirking their responsibility.”
Ahmad Hassan said: “Is this not madness? Markets are opened, is there any school that is populated as a market square? This government is just clueless.”
Esther Soje said: “It is not a good decision at all, when other West African countries will be writing theirs, starting next month. This country is just nose diving every day.”
Valentine Itenebe said: “It’s not a good decision abeg. Since there will be social distancing amongst them in the exam hall. They should allow students write their exams.
Godwin Sunday Achem said: “No sense in this decision, at least there are less student in school now, why don’t they use the classes that would not be put to use and get the WAEC candidates to spread into other classes?
Prince Ilegbusi Omolade Taiwo said: “Students won’t write WAEC but politicians can go on with campaigns and election affairs. Nigeria leaders are planting bitter leaf and waiting to harvest sweet potatoes.”
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