Former Vice president and the People Democratic Party(PDP), presidential candidate of in the last general election Atiku Abubakar has reacted to the fedral government’s policy of unilaterally counllelation of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination(WASCE), for this year.
Atiku in a series of tweets on Friday, state that counllelation of the 2020 WASCE will be a set back for about 1.5 million Nigerian youths who do write the examination annually, saying that it will place them behind their contemporaries in other West African countries.
He added that Foreign Direct Investments(FDI) and other economic indicators are tied to the educational indexes of nations
According to him, Nigeria is already lagging behind other Africa countries in many crucial indices, like school enrolment, pass rates, and out of school children, and the cancellation of the examination will further crate chaos and aggravate an already bad situation.
ALSO READ: FG SET DATE FOR 2020 WAEC EXAMINATION
He noted that instead of cancelling the examination there is a way to protect lives of the public and prevent the pandemic escalation, saying that the Federal government could direct WAEC to have staggered examinations with a different set of questions for each shift.
Atiku urged the federal government to take a u-turn on it decision, sayin the lives of Nigerians they are trying to protect when thousand of them will breach social distancing rules to cross over to neighbouring West African nations to write their WASSCE, rather than miss a year.
In his words:
“As a parent and investor in the education sector, I wish to register that the Nigerian government’s policy of unilaterally cancelling the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, held annually by the West African Examinations Council, is not in Nigeria’s best interest.
“At a time of the global COVID19 pandemic, it is understandable that an abundance of caution be put in place to save lives. However, caution, without consultation, and thoughtful action, may be counterproductive.
“1.5 million Nigerian youths write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination annually. To abruptly cancel this examination is to set back our nation’s youth, and place them behind their contemporaries in other West African countries.
“This is perilous because Foreign Direct Investments and other economic indicators are tied to the educational indexes of nations.
“Already, Nigeria lags behind other African nations in crucial indices, like school enrolment, pass rates, and out of school children. This action will further create chaos in the public education system and exacerbate an already bad situation.
“Rather than cancellation, there are better ways to protect the health of Nigerians and prevent the pandemic from escalating.
“We could mobilise all available public & private infrastructures, including primary schools, stadia, and cinemas, for the examinations. In the alternative, the Federal Government can prevail on WAEC to have staggered examinations with a different set of questions for each shift.
“Doing so will allow WAEC Nigeria to implement social distancing and achieve the goal of carrying out the examinations. A win-win scenario.
“I urge this administration to take into account that the lives they are trying to save will be further put at risk, because if this policy is not reversed, tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of Nigerians, will breach social distancing rules to cross over to neighbouring West African nations to write their WASSCE, rather than miss a year.”