The effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been very visible as it has changed the course of operations in every aspects of the human life particularly with the Federal Government’s decision to cancel the students participation in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination,WASSCE.
This decisions Nigerians have claimed is not in the best interest of these students and the nation’s education system as the examinations does not involve the country alone but a cross section of some other West African Nations.
It is on this premise that Afe Babalola, the founder of Afe Babalola University in Ekiti State has condemned federal government’s decision to suspend students participation in the 2020 WASSCE.
He advised the government to make use of the empty spaces which are wasting away in tertiary institutions, secondary schools and elementary schools to accommodate them with a lot of social distancing and due compliance with World Health Organisation rules.
In a statement titled, “Nigeria’s non-participation in the 2020 WASCE: Irreparable damage”, Babalola wondered what the Federal Government expects about 1.5 million students to be doing through out the year.
According to him such level of idleness will only breed frustration and promote various forms of vices particularly for youths in such active stage.
Rather than cancel the examination, the Government should allow schools to conduct the examinations within their halls so the students can obey all the COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing and others, he said
His statment reads, “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.
“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 shut down. This allows the Federal Government to use them for the WAEC examination.
“What the government should do is to prepare the empty rooms for the WAEC examination, fumigate the halls and the premises, use face masks, provide sanitizers, and ensure that WHO rules are observed.
“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 Minister takw into consideration the moral and legal implication of Nigeria as a signatory to WAEC laws or the effect of such a unilateral declaration of withdrawal?” Babalola queried.