Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has advised the Federal Government to reconsider its position on the cancellation of this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Atiku in a statement, said government’s cancellation of the examination unilaterally is not in the best of Nigeria.
“At a time of the global COVID-19 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 counter-productive,” he stated.
The former vice president noted that the abrupt cancellation of the examination in which 1.5 million Nigerian youths would participate, is a set back to the nation’s youths.
He expressed the fears that the cancellation would place Nigerian youths behind their contemporaries in other West African nations.
“This is perilous, because Foreign Direct Investments and other economic indicators are tied to the educational indexes of nations,” he added.
He noted that 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 and private infrastructures including primary schools, stadia, and cinemas, for the examinations.
“In the alternative, the Federal Government can prevail on WAEC to have a staggered examination 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,” he said.