The Federal Government has suspended its earlier plan to reopen schools to enable graduating Nigerian students participate in scheduled external examinations.
KanyiDaily recalls that after schools were closed in March to curb the spread of coronavirus, the FG had earlier announced the reopening date of July 13 for graduating students in Primary Six, JSS 3 and SSS 3.
The Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who made the announcement, also made it known that the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) examination would hold from August 4 to September 5.
However, during Wednesday’s virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in the State House, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said Nigerian schools would not be reopened until the COVID-19 pandemic drastically subsides.
Consequently, he said Nigerian students would not participate in Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (SSCE) scheduled to commence on August 4.
Adamu said the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) had no right to determine resumption date for schools in Nigeria.
The minister also said Nigerian students would rather be made to lose an academic year than to be exposed to danger. He said:
“I don’t know whether you journalists are misquoting the Minister of State for Education or maybe quoting what WAEC said and made it into a story. Schools under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education will not be opened on August 4 or anytime soon.
“Our schools will only open when we believe it’s safe for our children and that is when the situation is right, not when the incidence of the infection is going up in the nation. I just want to make it clear.
“We will not open soon for examination or for any reason, unless it is safe for our children, even WAEC. WAEC will not determine for us what we do. Schools will remain closed.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) we called on stakeholders who will tell us the situation and the way it should be done for it to be safe. While the meeting was going on, WAEC announced that they are starting examinations. Let’s see who they are going to start with.
“I will also like to use this position to ask those states that have already announced (reopening), I appeal to them. I think it is not safe. I feel responsible for all children, not just those who are in federal government controlled schools. Please let’s save our children from this.
“One infected child is enough to infect a whole class. When they close from class they go into the dormitory, this is not the right time to open schools. I appeal to the states that have already announced to reconsider it.
“When asked if Nigeria will be the only country to miss out of the WAEC examinations, he said “me as Minister of Education, if I’m given the chance, I don’t mind Nigeria losing a whole school year than exposing our children to danger. WAEC is a parastatal of the Ministry of Education, they cannot determine for the government what it does.”