Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has lamented that the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to cancel this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examinations is not in the best interest of the students affected and the country at large.
This, the former presidential aspirant said through his Media Adviser on Friday.
This came after the Education Minister said that the nation would not mind forfeiting this years WAEC, if it meant keeping students safe.
Atiku noted that while it seems wise to take precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19, not less than 1.5 million Nigerian youths write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination annually, adding that to abruptly cancel the examination is to set back the nation’s youth, and place them behind their contemporaries in other West African nations.
“It 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.
“In the alternative, the Federal Government can prevail on WAEC to have a staggered examinations with a different set of questions for each shift. Doing so will allow WAEC Nigeria 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,” Atiku said.