The West African Examination Council (WAEC), has bowed to pressure from Nigeria to shift forward the date of its 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), following a meeting with federal government officials in Abuja early this week.
In a related development, 600 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded yesterday nationwide, taking the number of confirmed cases to 35,454, with 14,633 discharged and 772 deaths.
The examination was scheduled to begin on August 4, but the federal government announced that students of unity schools would not participate owing to COVID-19 concerns.
The COVID-19 concerns were reiterated when the federal government team, led by Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, met with the WAEC officials in Abuja.
A source at the meeting told reporters that the WAEC team eventually agreed with the federal government and settled to shift the date of the examination.
In line with this agreement, the federal government issued a statement yesterday, saying the WAEC “is considering shifting the date of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).”
A statement signed by the Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, quoted the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba as saying “this as a result of a meeting which held on Monday.”
However, according to the statement, discussions will continue with four other countries to determine a new date for the examination.
Goong added that schools had been given till July 29, 2020, to ensure that their facilities are ready for resumption in line with the guidelines issued by the ministry of education for safe reopening of places of learning.
The ministry said a decision would be taken after the July 29 deadline on resumption of schools for all categories of learners.
“We have consulted widely with stakeholders in the sector, including commissioners of education in all the states of the federation, the Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria,(APSON), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, (NAPPS), Provosts of Colleges of Education, Rectors of Polytechnics, Vice-Chancellors of Universities, some State Governors, and development partners,” Nwajiuba was quoted as saying.
“On WAEC, we met with WAEC on Monday and have agreed to further consult with four other countries on new examination date.
“We appreciate the concern shown by all stakeholders and note the divergent views expressed on the matter.
“Parents should rest assured that the safety of our students and teachers is paramount as we work assiduously towards the speedy reopening of our schools for the exit classes to take external examinations.”