Members of the House of Representatives have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that students in unity schools participate in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The lawmakers made the call during plenary on Tuesday at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
WASSCE is a standardised test conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for senior secondary school students in the graduating class.
The lawmakers believe no good will come out of stopping the students in Nigeria from writing the exams scheduled to hold from August 4 to September 5, 2020.
They stressed that the authorities of various schools can handle the exams as long as the COVID-19 protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) were adhered to.
The lawmakers warned that failure to allow the students to take the exams could send the wrong signal to the international community and investors that Nigeria was unable to handle the pandemic.
In their resolutions, they urged the President to reverse the decision of the Federal Ministry of Education withdrawing the nation from participating in WASSCE and other similar examinations.
The House also asked the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to immediately implement the health safety measures outlined by the Federal Executive Council for the conduct of the examinations, as well as provide soap, hand sanitisers and all other requirements stipulated by NCDC.
It, therefore, mandate the House Committees on Basic Education, Healthcare Services, Water Resources, and Legislative Compliance, to ensure compliance and report back to the lawmakers within two weeks.
The resolutions followed a motion on the urgent need to halt the Federal Government’s withdrawal from WASSCE and other common entrance examinations, and to provide enabling environment for students to write their examinations in accordance with NCDC guidelines.
Nnolim Nnaji, who represents Nkanu East/Nkanu West Federal Constituency (Enugu State), sponsored the motion which was supported by about six other lawmakers.
On July 6, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, announced that WAEC had fixed August 4 to commence this year’s WASSCE.
Nwajiuba, who spoke at a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, urged states and schools willing to allow their students to take the exams to prepare them ahead.
He explained that as soon as the WAEC examinations were concluded, the government would take up the National Examination Council (NECO) and the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) examinations.
Barely two days later, the Minister of Education said the government would not allow any unity school to participate in the scheduled exams until schools were considered safe.
Adamu had also asked WAEC and the state governments to reconsider their decision to open for the exams.