In a bid to see schools re-open and Nigerian secondary school students in final year return to classes ahead of the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), scheduled to commence on August 17, 2020, the Federal Ministry of Education in a Virtual meeting alongside Honourable Commissioners of Education of the 36 states of the federation, Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), private schools proprietors, and the Chief Executives of Examination bodies, resolved that students in their final secondary school year (SS3) should return to classes on August 4, 2020.
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In a public statement issued by Ben Bem Goong, the Director of Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Education, on Monday, July 27, 2020, stakeholders in the Nigerian educational sector deemed it necessary for Nigerian students to start preparing for West Africa Examination Council alongside their West African counterparts.
“Secondary schools in the country are to reopen as from the 4th of August, 2020 for exit classes only. Students will have two weeks within which to prepare for the West African Examinations (WAEC) due to start on the 17th of August, 2020. These were the unanimous decisions reached today at a virtual consultative meeting between the Federal Ministry of Education, Honourable Commissioners of Education of the 36 states, the Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT), the proprietors of private schools, and Chief Executives of examination bodies. It was agreed that the exit classes should resume immediately after the Sallah break, from the 4th of August, 2020 to enable them prepare for the WAEC examinations scheduled to commence from the 17th of August, 2020.”
Ben Bem Goong
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Stakeholders at the meeting also resolved that a passionate appeal be made to the federal government on behalf of the educational sector through the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, and patriotic Nigerians, to assist schools throughout the nation towards fast-tracking preparations to ensure a safe return to classes for students as agreed in the meeting. It will be recalled that in March 2020, schools in all parts of Nigeria were temporarily shut down by the federal government to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the world’s most populous black nation. After hopes were raised for Nigerian students earlier in July that schools would reopen, the decision was reversed and saw federal government colleges exempted from taking part in this year’s West Africa Examination Council (WAEC). This decision did not go down well with Nigerians as reactions condemning it followed. The House of Representatives alongside stakeholders in the educational sector urged the federal government to reconsider its stand on the issue and with development, SS3 students who must have been preparing all through the full lockdown period can smile to the examination halls in less than three weeks.
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