The House of Representatives is to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and key stakeholders in the education sector on how schools could be reopened to allow pupils sit the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) by the West African examination Council (WAEC).
The House resolved to meet with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, which is expected to lobby the President to order reopening of schools.
The stakeholders, at the roundtable meeting of the House Committee on Basic Education and Services with the Federal Ministry of Education and West African Examination Council, Nigeria, to discuss the matter, agreed that if the September date for the commencement of WASSCE is to be met, there was the need for Buhari and the NGF to be involved in coming up with a timely and effective decision.
They agreed that in the interest of the 1.6 million candidates registered for WASSCE, there was the need to agree on a date for the regional examination.
One of the options is to find an acceptable date.
At the event, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, pointed out to the lawmakers that the issue was on the date of the examination and not resumption of schools.
Architect Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, said WAEC is one of institutions that encourage regional cooperation, warning that organising a stand-alone examination for Nigeria will defeat the element of unity it portrays.
Echono further noted that if there was adequate funding, it should not take more than a week to get logistics ready for the examination in the 19, 000 centres across the country.
Patrick Areghan, Head of WAEC National Office, Nigeria, said there are lots of logistics involved in the conduct of examinations, noting that it is a long process to print question papers, while preparedness for the examination takes so much from WAEC.
Areghan, therefore, urged Nigeria to decide whether to allow its pupils to have COVID-19 certificate or a WAEC certificate.
Professor Julius Ihonvbere, Chairman of the committee, ruled that the lawmakers would get Buhari to use diplomatic means to get other countries in West Africa to agree with Nigeria on WASSCE postponement.