SWITZERLAND, JULY 13 – Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, and the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, have urged State governments in the country to refrain from enrolling their schools in this year’s West African Senior Secondary School Examination, WASSCE, if Federal Government-owned schools are not willing to follow suit.
Both unions have warned against defying this instruction saying it will not only distort the education sector but will also create chaos that may be very difficult to remediate.
National Treasurer of the NUT, Mr. Segun Raheem and the National President of NAPTAN, Haruna Danjuma, disclosed this in an interview with Vanguard Newspaper.
According to Raheem, attendees of stakeholders’ meeting held with the Federal Ministry of Education and relevant government agencies agreed to avoid any move that would lead to chaos in the educational sector.
“We all know that education is on the Concurrent List in the Constitution and that is why when the Federal Government suspended the reopening of open and advised the state governments to key into that. NUT has asked every state chapter to look into the peculiarities of their states and be guided accordingly.
”Some states have gone far in preparing their terminal students for their final examinations. I am from Lagos State and I can say boldly that the Commissioner for Education has done a lot in this respect. However, schools cannot be reopened unless it is safe to do so.
“Before the pandemic got to this level, the NCDC said each state should prepare at least 300-bed isolation centre, how many states were able to do that?
“We have to be careful not to use our children as laboratory rats. If the affected students sit for WASSCE now, will they be admitted to the university immediately? No.
“Some countries reopened schools and shut them down almost immediately. It is not appropriate that some states will sit for WASSCE and others will not,” he said.
Raheem also noted that it would improper to compare Nigeria with other member-states of the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, saying the countries were not up to four states in Nigeria in terms of population.
While empathising with private school owners and teachers, the NUT national treasurer opined that it would be in the best interest of all if schools are reopened in a safe environment.
Speaking on the issue, NAPTAN National President, Danjuma, added that even if it is the National Examinations Council, NECO, solely owned by Nigerian, nobody should contemplate some states sitting for the exam while others would not.
“WAEC is an international body and the examination it conducts is recognised globally. It won’t be appropriate for it to handle examination for a few states and others won’t take part. I advise state governments to liaise with the FG and do the needful. I also hope the FG would have a rethink about the issue too,” he stated.
Recall that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, after the Federal Executive Council meeting last Wednesday announced that the FG was not in support of WASSCE holding from early next month as announced by WAEC.
19 northern states have now backed the Federal Government’s decision to suspend this year’s WASSCE.
Meanwhile, Oyo State has reopened schools for terminal students and said it is ready to allow its students to write WASSCE if WAEC is to conduct it as planned.
Ekiti State also plans to reopen its schools for final year students next week.