By Tordue Salem
The House of Representatives has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the decision of the Federal Ministry of Education to bar Nigerian secondary school students from writing the West African School Certificate Examination and other Common Entrance Examinations.
The House, through a motion sponsored by Nnolim Nnaji and other lawmakers, said the examinations should instead be held under the guidelines issued by Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control, NCDC.
Presenting his motion, Nnaji observed that “the annual West African School Certificate Examinations scheduled to hold between April 6 and June 5, 2020, was shifted to between August 3 and September 5, 2020, due to COVID-19 pandemic.
‘’The choice of August 3 to September 5 2020 period for the conduct of the examination was not arbitrarily set, rather, WAEC consulted extensively with the government of alt the five countries that constitute the council before arriving at the new exam date and duration.”
‘’The House is aware that the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, on Monday, July 6, 2020 during a briefing at the Presidential Task Force on COV/D-I9 in Abuja announced that Nigeria would participate in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination scheduled between August 4, 2020 and September 5, 2020.’’
He also expressed concern that on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, announced that schools under the control of the federal government would not be opening for the forthcoming WAEC exams and urged state governments to toe the line of the federal government.
The lawmaker said he was “disturbed by the contradictory pronouncements of the top officials of the Federal Government within such a short space of time, and that Nigeria’s non-participation in this year’s examinations portends serious psychological, socio economic and health effects on the students as well as already overburdened parents and guardians.
“The negative and culminating effects of the government‘s action in seeking to withdraw Nigerian students from the examinations will be devastating on our educational system and Nigeria’s economy at large.”