FOLLOWING decision of the Federal Government to pull out from the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and a conflicting position from the South West State governments, the West African Examination Council (WAEC), Thursday, said it is currently reviewing the controversial situation.
WAEC told The ICIR that it has commenced consultations with the relevant stakeholders to ensure it reaches a final consensus, even as the examination date set on August 4 draws closer.
The regional secondary school examination was initially slated to commence in the country from August 4 to September 5, 2020, until the federal government’s decision.
Meanwhile, Lagos, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Osun and Ogun states under the platform of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) had on Tuesday, agreed to reopen schools for its Senior Secondary School students (SS3) on August 3 in order to sit for the final examinations.
The agreement was reached after Commissioners of Education, Special Advisers on Education, and Chairmen of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) concurred on the new decision.
They stressed that the schools would adhere to the Coronavirus Disease preventive guidelines recommended by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“All the states would have reopened schools for SS3 students by August 3, with COVID-19 preventive measures put in place in each school,” the commission added even as it agreed to set up a regional examination body.
But on July 8, the federal government withdrew its decision on school reopening and appealed to the state governments to reconsider their decisions.
The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Parent Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) also supported the FG frowning at the state governments’ decision.
When the reporter inquired about the possibility of WAEC organising a separate examination for the South-West states, Demianus Ojijeogu, WAEC spokesperson simply said the body was still reviewing conditions put forward by both parties and other stakeholders.
“…the Council is still reviewing the situation and is also consulting extensively to ensure that at the end of it all, it’s a win-win situation for all stakeholders,” Ojijeogu stated.
He added that ‘review and consultations were still ongoing’ when asked to give an actual date WAEC would make its decision considering the proximity of the examination date.
WAEC had in March announced its decision to suspend the 2020 examination due to COVID-19.
As of July 15, 2020, Nigeria has recorded 34, 259 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 13, 999 recovered cases, and 760 deaths.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) also reported 13, 338, 364 confirmed cases of the virus as of the date and 579, 319 deaths in 216 countries.