THE six South West states – Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti – have agreed to reopen schools next month to enable Senior Secondary School 3 pupils to sit for the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
But the Federal Government on Wednesday reiterated its advisory that schools should remain shut and not take part in the examination conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
At a virtual meeting organised by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission on Wednesday, commissioners for Education in the six states, special advisers on Education and State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) chairmen reached an agreement to reopen schools for SS3 pupils to sit for their final examination.
The meeting agreed on the need for South West states to implement a 2016 plan to establish a regional examination body akin to the Interim Joint Matriculation Board (IJMB) in the North.
The plan was laid out at the Roundtable on Creating a Collaborative Framework for Education Development and Advancement in Western Nigeria held in Osogbo, the Osun State capital in 2016.
A statement by the DAWN Commission said all the states would reopen schools for SS3 pupils on August 3 with COVID-19 preventive measures put in place.
According to the statement, the states will approach the Federal Government at the first instance to seek a postponement of the WASSCE by at least three weeks from the proposed resumption date.
At the second instance, states are to directly approach WAEC to seek a postponement of the examination to the week beginning August 24.
On resumption, schools are to appoint incident managers and classroom wardens.
There will also be a designation of quality assurance department for each state to issue a safety compliance certificate to each school before reopening.
Each state will encourage intensive advocacy campaign to stakeholders, including parents, teachers, caregivers, school owners and pupils on what is expected of them when schools resume.
The meeting also called on the WAEC to encourage Computer-Based Tests (CBT) in the future.
DAWN Commission Director General Seye Oyeleye, told The Nation that: “South West states are ready for SSCE. But in view of the latest decision by the Federal Government, we will consult with them and agree on the way forward. But we are ready for it in South West. The fact is that due to the peculiarities of South West states it is in our interest to allow our children write the examination as long as we are putting measures in place to prevent spread of coronavirus.”
Umahi, who spoke at a virtual State Executive Council meeting in Abakaliki, said the reopening of schools will be done in phases. (The Nation)