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FG, South-West govs disagree over WAEC exams

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INSECURITY: Southwest governors move to tame herdsmen

The Federal Government and governors of the South-West region are on different pages over the matter of students in the country not taking part in the 2020 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

This is as the six South-West states have expressed readiness to conduct the 2020 WASSCE for students in the region amidst the Nigerian government’s insistence that students in the country would not take part in the yearly exam.

After the Nigerian government cancelled its earlier move to reopen schools across the country and said students in the country would not write this year’s WASSCE last week, many Nigerians including the House of Representatives members had kicked against the decision.

While people expected the government to rescind its decision, or at least, partially reopen schools to allow students partake in the WASSCE as canvassed by the House of Reps, the Nigerian government on Wednesday, July 15,

maintained its stand.

It, however, said it was still consulting stakeholders on the matter.

Addressing newsmen after the Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said:

“We are still meeting with parents over the decision of the ministry.

“What the minister (Mr Adamu) said reflects the true position of the ministry; we are not confident yet that everywhere is safe. The numbers from the NCDC are still alarming and we have put this before parents and all the stakeholders in the education ecosystem, we are still meeting with them. In fact, there’s a stakeholders’ meeting convened for Monday.

WAEC on its own part is also negotiating with other West African countries to look at possible shift in date. Once they are through with that meeting and hopefully when we are through with the consultation with stakeholders, if there’s any change in the ministry’s position, we will communicate.

“But as it stands, the position of the Honourable Minister, as communicated to you last week, remains the position of the ministry until further evidence to the contrary or further agreements that may alter those arise.”

However, not minding the Nigerian government’s stand, the six South-West states in a unanimous decision taken at the end of an online meeting by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission in collaboration with the forum of South-West education commissioners, special advisers on education and the State Universal Basic Education Board chairmen, said they were ready to conduct WASSCE exams for the region.

“The Forum, after careful deliberations, considering peculiarities of each state and options available reached a consensus on the subject matters and are expressed thus:

“On WAEC examinations; State Commissioners for Education have signified readiness to sit students for the 2019/2020 WAEC examinations.

READ ALSO: Education commissioners in 19 northern states back FG’s decision suspending reopening of schools

“At the least, August 3rd, resumption for final year SSS3 students, states should approach the Federal Government at the first instance seeking the postponement of the WAEC exam by at least three weeks from proposed resumption. In the second instance states should directly approach WAEC to seek an extension of the WAEC Examinations to week commencing August 24.

“All schools, when reopening, should have in place incident managers and classroom wardens for every school and every classroom. The designation of the Quality Assurance Department for each state to issue a Safety Compliance Certificate to each school before reopening.

“Encourage intense advocacy campaigns of the stakeholders – parents, teachers, caregivers, proprietress/headteachers, and the pupils on what is expected of them when schools resume.

READ MORE: Reps urge Buhari to allow schools open partially for WASSCE 2020

“Only hostel/ dormitory accommodation attached to schools should be provided where available to ease logistics and travel challenges of pupils and teachers. Tests and health checks of all pupils and teachers as a prerequisite for accommodation,” a statement released after the meeting states in part.

While the forum urged WAEC to encourage the administering of the use of Computer-Based Tests, it said each state should deliberately intensify efforts and invest more in education technology.

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