Six states in Nigeria have agreed to go against FG's directive to reopen schools next month.
School children (File photo)
Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti have agreed to reopen schools next month to enable Senior Secondary School 3 pupils to sit for the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), TheNation has reported.
This comes after the Federal Government on Wednesday reiterated its advisory that schools should remain shut and not take part in the examination conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
At a virtual meeting organised by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission yesterday, commissioners for Education in the six states, special advisers on Education and State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) chairmen reached an agreement to reopen schools for SS3 pupils to sit for their final examination.
The meeting agreed on the need for Southwest states to implement a 2016 plan to establish a regional examination body akin to the Interim Joint Matriculation Board (IJMB) in the North.
The plan was laid out at the Roundtable on Creating a Collaborative Framework for Education Development and Advancement in Western Nigeria held in Osogbo, the Osun State capital in 2016.
A statement by the DAWN Commission said all the states would reopen schools for SS3 pupils on August 3 with COVID-19 preventive measures put in place.
According to the statement, the states will approach the Federal Government at the first instance to seek a postponement of the WASSCE by at least three weeks from the proposed resumption date.
At the second instance, states are to directly approach WAEC to seek a postponement of the examination to the week begining August 24.
On resumption, schools are to appoint incident managers and classroom wardens.
There will also be a designation of quality assurance department for each state to issue a safety compliance certificate to each school before reopening.
Each state will encourage intensive advocacy campaign to stakeholders, including parents, teachers, caregivers, school owners and pupils on what is expected of them when schools resume.
The meeting also called on the WAEC to encourage Computer-Based Tests (CBT) in the future.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had announced a reversal of the Federal Government’s decision to allow students to sit for the examination.
He said schools would remain shut and final year secondary school students would no longer write WASSCE until further notice.
Minister of State for Education, Chief Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, restated the Federal Government’s position on Wednesday while briefing State House Correspondents after the eighth virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
He said the ministry was still consulting with stakeholders on way forward, adding that WAEC had also started consultations with West African states on a possibility of shifting dates.
Nwajiuba said: “We are still meeting with parents over the decision of the ministry. What the Minister said reflects the true position of the Ministry; we are not confident yet that everywhere is safe.
“The numbers from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) are still alarming and we have put this before parents and all the stakeholders in the education ecosystem. A stakeholders’ meeting was convened for Monday.
“WAEC on its part is also negotiating with other West African countries to look at possible shift in date.
“Once they are through with that meeting and hopefully when we are through with the consultation with stakeholders, if there’s any change in the ministry’s position, we will communicate.
“But as it stands, the position of the minister, as communicated to you last week, remains the position of the ministry until further evidence to the contrary or further agreements that may alter those arise.”