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S’West agrees to reopen schools August 3

Against the current decision of the Federal Government, six states of South-West of Nigeria have unveiled plans to have their students sit for the 2019/2020 West African School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) being conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). This was part of resolutions of thestategovernmentsafteran online session held on Tuesday by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission and a forum of South-West Commissioners of Education, Special advisers on Education and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Chairmen.

It was held at the Roundtable on Creating a Collaborative Framework for Education Development and Advancement in Western Nigeria in July 2016, Osogbo, Osun Stat The Federal Government had on July 8 reversed its earlier announcement, authorising schools to reopen for students participating in West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) and the Junior Secondary Certificate Examinations (JSCE).

New Telegraph, however, learnt through the Director- General of DAWN) Commission, Mr. Seye Oyeleye, yesterday that the focus of the meeting was premised on the need to jointly agree on modalities for the 2019/2020 WAEC Examinations, resumption of school activities for SSS 3 students and other allied matters. According to a release from the Commission, “the Forum, after careful deliberations, considering peculiarities of each state and options available, reached a consensus on the subject matters and are expressed thus: “On WAEC examinations; State Commissioners for Education have signified readiness to sit students for the 2019/2020 WAEC examinations.

At the least, August3rd, 2020isresumption for final year SSS3 students. “States should approach the Federal Government at the first instance, seeking the postponement of the WAEC exam by at least three weeks from proposed resumption.

“At the second instance, states should directly approach WAEC to seek an extension of the WAEC Examinations to week commencing August 24.” “All schools when reopening should have in place, incident managers and classroom wardens for every school and every classroom, the designation of the Quality Assurance Department for each State, to issue a Safety Compliance Certificate to each school before reopening. “Encourage an intense advocacy campaign of the stakeholders – parents, teachers, caregivers, Proprietress/ Head teachers, and the pupils on what is expected of them when schools resume. Only hostel/ dormitory accommodation attached to schools should be provided where available to ease logistics and travel challenges of pupils and teachers.

There must be tests and health checks of all pupils and teachers as a prerequisite for accommodation.” Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor, Chrisland University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Professor Chinedum Babalola, has called on the Federal Government to adopt “staggered” resumption of schools in the country.

Babalola said while nobody knew when the global coronavirus pandemic would end, there was the need for gradual resumption of socio-economic activities, including reopening of schools. She spoke yesterday during a virtual matriculation ceremony held for 148 fresh students of the institution. The Vice-Chancellor said the ceremony, which was conducted online at the university auditorium, was to abide by the Federal Government’s directive and safety protocols on COVID-19 pandemic.

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