Following the federal government decision to suspend the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) to be conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), issues are currently brewing in homes and among school authorities.
Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Nigeria, students had registered for the examinations all over the country. Examination date had been fixed to begin from April 6, 2020. That was the tentative date the examination was billed to commence.
But with the outbreak of the virus, students were sent home hastily with the belief that the pandemic would not last up to what the nation is experiencing at the moment. There was hope of resuming within the shortest time.
But against general perception, the coronavirus pandemic is still ravaging the world and most especially Nigeria. Hence, the dream of going back has been shattered, even final year classes cannot resume to write their examinations.
The closure of schools has been since March and this is July, making it a total of approximately four months of schools being on lockdown. As a glimmer of hope, the minister of state for education, Emeka Nwajiuba, on Monday assured Nigerians that WAEC examinations would commence on August 4 through to September 5, 2020.
With the announcement from the minister, WAEC had a press conference on Tuesday, giving guidelines for the conduct of the examination, and assuring that the exam would run from August 3 to September 5, 2020.
But on Wednesday, July 8, there was a bombshell from the minister of education, Adamu Adamu. He told state house correspondents in Abuja, after a virtual federal executive council meeting that the examination cannot hold as it is not yet safe to re-open schools.
He said schools directly under the control of the federal government cannot resume to go for the examination. He told journalists that unity schools will not participate in the examination as it is not yet safe for the students to be sent to school.
Consequently, the pronouncement has put the resumption of schools away from this year. Besides that, WAEC examination has also been pushed away from this year. Now, there is confusion in many circles.
Many questions are begging for answers. What happens to the WAEC enrolment fees the students have paid for the examination? Will the money be refunded or transferred to next year? And if transferred to next year, what about the students in SS11 that are supposed to write their own exam next year? What happens to their own exam? Will be merged with the old students?
These questions that the federal government and the examination body must sit down and iron out as the debate continues.
Now, the social media is already getting abuzz with issues surrounding the WAEC examinations. A twitter user posted that someone had paid N14000 for examination runs. If I understand this person very well, that means money had been paid for someone to sit for him to write the examination. That is impersonation.
The twitter user said: “FG said No WAEC this year But This Boy From Ikirun Don go pay 14k For Exam Runz.” What happens to this money the guy has paid? He must have paid the money following the announcement by the minister of state that WAEC would commence August 3, 2020.
Another twitter user said: “Waec matter don dey cause trouble for house, after paying 40k.” This is not very clear whether it is for runs or enrollment fees, it’s still uncertain but the fact that money had paid for the examination. The parents may be thinking, what will happen to the money they have paid.
Another one, Agbo Chikamso @Chikamsoagbo, said: “What will then happen to their WAEC fees? Cos I know WAEC won’t give them a separate date for theirs. This is the question that will be begin to resonate and bomb WAEC to the face. It is a big question but the examination body must provide answer to it.
One Mrs. Zinwa Nwk @ze3nny, also said: “So the present SS3 students won’t write WAEC this year and will join their juniors in SS2 next year.,. Imagine the drama that will happen in secondary schools next year, based on who is senior.,. Pure comedy.” This is the first time in history when this situation is happening in the history of the world and in Nigeria in particular.
But Adelaja @Adelaja83612090, twitted: “The problem we have in this country is our leaders in power, because none of them has plan(s) to move this country forward. Are you telling me federal government can’t restrategise and think outside the box how these wards can write the exam?. Brainless people.
“If it was to be me writing this WAEC, omo! It won’t be funny at all…After all the fear and preparation. So now their fear will continue till next year.
“I think the best decision to take is to postpone WAEC till next year, (maybe try to) alter constitution and make this year JAMB result still valid till next year, and post UTME should be postponed till next year too to make things balanced and fair for students with awaiting results.”