Contrary to federal government’s directive, the six South West states of Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo have agreed to reopen schools to enable Senior Secondary School 3 students write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in August.
Their decision was also in contrast with that of most of the 19 northern states, which supported the federal government’s decision to suspend school reopening for SSS 3 students due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a virtual meeting organised by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission on Tuesday, commissioners of education in the six states, special advisers on Education and SUBEB chairmen reached an agreement to reopen schools for SSS 3 students to write their final examination.
The meeting also agreed on the need for South West states to implement a 2016 plan to establish a regional examination body akin to 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 indicated that all the states would have reopened schools for SSS 3 students by August 3, with COVID-19 preventive measures put in place in each school. According to the statement, the states will approach the Federal Government at the first instance seeking postponement of the WASSCE by at least three weeks from the proposed resumption date. At the second instance, states are to directly approach the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to seek postponement of the examination to the week commencing August 24.
On resumption, all 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. The states will also encourage intensive advocacy campaigns to stakeholders including parents, teachers, caregivers, school owners and pupils on what is expected of them when schools resume. The meeting also urged WAEC to encourage Computer-Based Tests (CBT) in the future.