Atiku, Reno Omokri and House of Representatives disagree with FG’s decision to cancel WAEC for Nigerian students

Atiku, Reno Omokri and House of Representatives disagree with FG’s decision to cancel WAEC for Nigerian students

The has been a negative reaction to the decision of the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government (FG) to cancel West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations for Nigerian students in final year of Senior Secondary school.

The House of Representatives, former presidential media aide, Reno Omokri and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, have all stated that the decision by the Federal Government will have a negative impact on the students and education in the country.

The decision by the Federal Government was conveyed by Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu who revealed it was because of the safety of the students.

FG says Nigerian students will not write WAEC in 2020 (video)

Reno who is vocal on social media took to his official Twitter account to give his opinion about the decision by the Federal Government.

His tweet said, ”1.5 million Nigerians write WASSCE every year. Nigeria does not have the capacity to hold WAEC exams for 3 million people next year. What this means is that, if this policy is not reversed, every Nigerian child will miss a year, not just the final year students.

“Edo has 2,210,534 voters, while Ondo has 1,822,346. A total of 4,032,880. WAEC has 1.5 million registered students in Nigeria. WAEC exams takes 5 hours. Voting takes all day. So, what is the rationale for suspending WASSCE, yet go on with Edo and Ondo elections?

“Ghana opened schools for final year students and confirmed that WAEC examinations will hold. Meanwhile, Nigeria suspended WAEC exams. That is because Ghana’s President, @NAkufoAddo is a graduate of @UniofOxford, and General @MBuhari has questionable WAEC status!”

Atiku put out a statement detailing the negative impact the decision will have on the country.

His statement said, ”As a parent and investor in the education sector, I wish to register the fact that the Nigerian government’s policy of unilaterally cancelling the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, held annually by the West African Examinations Council, is not in Nigeria’s best interest.

“At a time of the global COVID19 pandemic, it is understandable that an abundance of caution be put in place to save lives. However, caution, without consultation, and thoughtful action, may be counter productive.

“1.5 million Nigerian youths write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination annually. To abruptly cancel this examination is to set back our nation’s youth, and place them behind their contemporaries in other West African nations. This is perilous, because Foreign Direct Investments and other economic indicators, are tied to the educational indexes of nations.

“Already, Nigeria lags behind other African nations in crucial indices, like school enrolment, pass rates, and out of school children. This action, will further create chaos in the public education system and exacerbate an already bad situation.

“Rather than cancellation, there are better ways to protect the health of Nigerians and prevent the pandemic from escalating. We could mobilise all available public and private infrastructures including primary schools, stadia, and cinemas, for the examinations. In the alternative, the Federal Government can prevail on WAEC to have a staggered examinations with a different set of questions for each shift. Doing so will allow WAEC Nigeria implement social distancing and achieve the goal of carrying out the examinations. A win-win scenario.

“I urge this administration to take into account that the lives they are trying to save will be further put at risk, because if this policy is not reversed, tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of Nigerians, will breach social distancing rules to cross over to neighbouring West African nations to write their WASSCE, rather than miss a year.”

Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education Julius Ihonvbere also stated that the Federal Government should consider reversing the decision.

His statement said, “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 also 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.

“The Hon. Minister of State, in his usually consultative and participatory approach, had briefed the nation at the COVID 19 presidential Committee briefing, over the airwaves and in an appearance before the House Committee on Basic Education where he assured Nigerians that all steps had or were being taken to ensure full compliance with all COVID 19 protocols.

“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.”

 

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