Thousands of Nigerian students on Friday began an online protest across social media platforms over Federal Government directives against school resumption, following an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country.
Recall that on July 8, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had suspended Nigerians students from participating in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examinations, WASSCE, earlier scheduled for August 4.
According to the minister, it is preferable for the students to lose an academic year than to be exposed to COVID-19.
In the early hours of Friday, DAILY NIGERIAN reports that students from every part of the country took to their Twitter handles under the #SAVENIGERIANSTUDENTS hashtag to express their bitterness over the continued closure of schools by the government.
While some of the protesters hurled insults at the government for cancelling national examinations, others begged the authorities to reconsider their stance.
One of the protesters, Akinsolare John, under the hashtag said: “God no go shame us oo… FG we dey beg una oo. I say NO to lose an academic year!!! I say YES to safe reopening of schools!!!”
Another user, Ms Beebah, said: “It is safe to open markets It is safe to open airports It is safe to hold elections It is safe to open banks But it’s not safe to open schools, Should we say it’s because the educational sector doesn’t generate money for the Government. WeAreTired!!!!”
Lucky Jack, on his part, said: “It’s a shame that election and religious activities have resumed but the institutions for building the foundation for national development is still barred from resuming activities.
Ifeoluwa Akindumila said: “If Market can reopen, Churches can reopen, Political Campaign can take place, and Election can take place. Nothing should stop our School to reopen.
Another with a handle, BnAttahir3, said: “No to lose an academic year, we’re safe on campuses and more exposed to danger when At the markets, Parks, and hotels. Savenigerianstudents.”
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the cancellation of WAEC by the government had generated a lot of controversies, just as the National Assembly had also called on the government to shelve their decision.
The House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services had approached President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, on the need to fix a date for the 2020 WASSSCE.
The Reps said that there was need for stakeholders to be on the same page and to commence diplomatic efforts to get the other countries in the region on Nigeria’s side concerning the yet-to-be agreed examination date.
The chairman of the committee, Rep. Julius Ihonvbere said that in the interest of the 1.6 million candidates that registered for the exams, there was a need to agree on a date for the regional examination as time was running out for the country.
“Nigeria should decide on if it wants to give its candidates a COVID-19 exam certificate or a WAEC certificate in concert with the other countries.
“Getting parents to pay another set of fees might be difficult if the September date is missed; if the November option is considered, someone has to pick the bills,” he said.