The House of Representatives has appealed to the Federal Government to rescind on its decision cancelling this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examinations, WASSCE, due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Recall that, emerging out of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting on Wednesday, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, told State House correspondents that the Federal Government had withdrawn its candidates in the forthcoming WAEC examinations across the country.
The lawmakers, in a statement signed on Friday by the Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, said the cancellation amounts to policy reversal which, according to them, was not good for the country.
According to the lawmakers, stakeholders were not informed beforehand, and that the “policy reversal is not good for the country”.
The statement reads: “The House Committee on Basic Education and Services received with amazement the announcement by the Honourable Minister of Education that Nigerian students would not be participating in the forthcoming WASSCE examinations.
“He did not inform the country if this was in agreement with other West African leaders or in consultation with the examination bodies, the state governments and other stakeholders in the education sector.
“The Minister did not also inform the public if the decision was the outcome of a meeting with all State Governments that are in charge of all but the Unity Secondary Schools that are owned by the Federal government.”
“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, frustrate the students, and show to 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.”
The committee also said “Mr. President should direct all his Ministers to return to their states, work with the Governors and ensure the smooth implementation of the policy and conduct of the examination.”
“The House Committee appreciates the reservations of the Honourable Minister of Education. We are parents just like him. No Nigerian parent would want to delay, distort, even terminate the progress of their child.
“We are convinced that if our policy of no boarding house, reconceptualising scope of exams, use of all classrooms and halls in the schools, quadrupling the number of invigilators, provision of facemasks, sanitizers and hand washing facilities are followed, the WASSCE can be conducted with ease and with no repercussions.
“Let us collectively save and advance our educational system and build a future we can be all proud of,” the committee said.