THE announcement by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu barring Nigerian candidates from sitting for the 2020 West African Examinations Council (WAEC), examinations has been described as an insult on Nigerians as criticism continues to trail the decision.
In separate interviews, some education experts, lawmakers, clerics, community leaders urged Nigerians to disregard the decision of the Minister, noting that an individual should not be allowed to cage the destiny of millions of Nigerian children.
The Education Secretary, Diocese on the Niger, Rev. Cannon Nwachukwu Uzo Okeke said that the statement by the Education Minister was insensitive as it failed to recognize the suffering of parents from the continued closure of schools loss of jobs by private school teachers.
Okeke said, “the country should be thinking of re-opening schools and conduct WASSCE for final year secondary school students with strict adherence to preventive guidelines against COVID-19 and not how to ruin the educational pursuits of young Nigerian students.
He noted that the West African Examination Council (WAEC) was a sub-regional examination body where candidates from four other countries participate in the annual examination and wondered why Nigeria should opt out as if COVID-19 was not in other countries.
The Administration Officer, Education Commission, Diocese on the Niger, Dr. Lady Jesse Obicheta regretted that the minister of education, who is believed to know better about education was mortgaging the future of Nigerian children with an unpopular policy.
She urged the Federal Government to re-open schools as the continued closure of schools may lead to students losing interest in education, while others may delve into crimes because of idleness.
A community leader and former President General, Uke Development Union, Chief Donatus Enendu cautioned against reopening of schools, but advised that final year secondary schools student should be allowed to participate in the WAEC Exams.
Enendu posited that while COVID-19 is not only prevalent in Nigeria, candidates should be allowed to participate so as to give the citizens a sense of belonging.
He noted that any denial of Nigerian students from participating in 2020 WAEC examinations would attract a bad image for the country and mortgage the future of Nigerian children.