The West African Senior school Certificate Examination (WASSCE) is a type of standardized test in West Africa.Students who pass the exam receive a certificate confirming their graduation from secondary education. The examination is administered by the West African Examination council (WAEC). The examination is offered to candidates in 5 Anglophone (English Speaking) West African countries: Nigeria, Ghana,Gambia, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The article wiil focus on the cancellation of the examination and its effects of the Nigerian students.
The Nigerian government had on March 19,2020 orderedthe immediate closure of all tertiary, secondary and primary Schools as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 virus,this necessitated the postponement of the examination due to start in April.
On Wednesday 8th July,2020, the Honourable minister of Education,Adamu Adamu announced the suspension of the reopening of secondary and primary Schools. The minister stated further that Nigerian students will not participate in the West African Senior school Certificate Examination (WASSCE) that was rescheduled to start on 4thAugust and end on 5th September,2020.The Honourable minister passed the information to Nigerians after the federal Executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by the Mister president himself held on that day.
The sudden decision of the federal government not to reopen schools closed down in March,2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic not only will it disorganized school administrators, students, parents and teachers,who are eargerly awaiting the reopening of schools but also the social economy of the country. The minister made it known to people that WAEC is not in a position to tell the Federal Government when schools should reopen in Nigeria.
To me,government did not consider the negative effects the suspension of the certificate examination will have on the students and their parents not withstanding that the minister said that it is better for Nigerian students to miss the exam and lose an academic year than to be exposed to coronavirus.
It may be easier for the government not to understand the trauma the senior students (SSS 3) and many of the parents who find it very difficult to raised the exam fee as a result of the economy situation in the country to freely imply that the money paid for the examination has gone down the drain.
The suspension of the examination will be very painful on the part of affected students that hoped to graduate and complete their final examinations at some point but the pandemic has affected a lot of things.To my best knowledge, the suspension of the examination will definitely affect their future.
I will suggest that Interested of outright cancellation of the examination in Nigeria, federal government can make special request from the other member countries of WAEC,so that all students from the affected nations can write the examination when it's safe for students rather than total cancellation of the examination for the students.
Some notable scholars are of the opinion that Nigerian students should write the examination, because failure to write the examination would affect the admission of students into tertiary institutions.They said it is better to delay the examination and not total cancellation.Even, delay in writing the examination would lead to prolonged admission exercise.
Even before the time the federal Government announced the suspension of this year WASSCE, the examination body has already been practicing social distancing before the outbreak of the pandemic.To me,I don't really think that the students will contract the virus.
The governments and the examination body should work hand in hand to provide facilities that will curtail the spread of the virus among the students, officials and teachers.
Schools should be asked to resume and obey the government's protocols but erring principal, teacher or proprietor of school that doesn't adhere strictly to the lay down government's instructions should be sanctioned.
To me, the abrupt cancellation of the examination will be a setback on our youths and place them behind their pairs in other West African countries.
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