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Afe Babalola cautions against cancellation of WASSCE, says it could lead to criminality

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Planned trial of CJN Onnoghen at CCT unconstitutional- Afe Babalola

The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) has cautioned the Nigerian government against the cancellation of the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination, saying this was capable of breeding frustration and promoting criminality among the 1.5 million who registered for it.

The legal luminary advised that government should rather let it hold in the various school halls in addition to fashioning ways to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

Babalola stated this in a statement titled ‘Nigeria’s non-participation in the 2020 WASCE: Irreparable damage,’ on Tuesday, stating that “A year of idleness for 1.5 million people may breed frustration and promote criminality”.

He said: “If the Federal Government insists that there would be no WASSCE this year, the students are not just losing one calendar year, but losing an integral part of their entire lives which is gone forever by such declaration. We should always remember that after all, ‘time is life and life is time’.

“The Federal Government should allow the WASSCE to take place in the empty spaces which are wasting away in our tertiary institutions, secondary schools and elementary schools which can conveniently accommodate them with a lot of social distancing and due compliance with World Health Organisation rules.”

It would be recalled that the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had in a directive, stated that schools “will not open soon for examination or for any reason, even WASSCE, unless it is safe for our children. WAEC will not determine for us what to do. Schools will remain closed”.

Reacting to the directive, Babalola said further: “It is my firm belief that the future of these 1.5 million young Nigerians who have registered for WAEC should not be put in jeopardy. It is a well known fact that all schools, colleges and tertiary institutions in the country are currently shut down. This affords the Federal Government the opportunity to use them for WAEC examination.

Read also: Reps urge Buhari to allow schools open partially for WASSCE 2020

“What the government should do is to prepare the empty rooms for WAEC examination – fumigate the halls and the premises, use face mask, provide sanitizers and ensure that WHO rules are obeyed to the letter,” he said.

He also wondered why it was only Nigeria that withdrew from the examination among the five West African countries involved.

He queried: “What steps have the other countries taken which would enable them to take WAEC examination which we cannot take?

“Are we saying that the other four countries do not appreciate the lives of their students? Why was the issue not turned over to the Nigerian body of WAEC or the general body of WAEC in Accra before the declaration of withdrawal to Nigeria?

“Did the Hon. Minister take into consideration the moral and legal implication of Nigeria as a signatory to WAEC laws or the effect of such unilateral declaration of withdrawal?

“All that is required to take the WAEC examination is proper management, consultation, and discussion instead of unilateral cancellation of annual international convention.”

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