Final year students at secondary schools in Nigeria will resume classes next week ahead of their examinations, the government has announced.
The Ministry of Education said the students would report back on 4 August and sit for the West Africa Examinations from 17 August.
The West Africa Examinations are school completion tests done by students from five English-speaking countries - Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Nigeria and Liberia.
Final year students in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia have already been at school preparing for the exams.
This unanimous decision was reached during a virtual consultative meeting between the Federal Ministry of Education, the Commissioner for Education in each of the 36 states of the Federation, the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), the proprietors of private schools, and Chief Executives of examination bodies.
Attendees at the meeting also resolved that a passionate appeal should be made to the Federal Government to assist schools across the country, in order to enable them to fast-track their preparedness for the agreed safe reopening.
The statement also noted that another meeting is scheduled to hold tomorrow (Tuesday, July 28) between the Federal Ministry of Education and Chief Executives of examination bodies namely NECO, NABTEB, and NBAIS. This is to enable them to harmonize their examination dates, which will then be conveyed to stakeholders by the Federal Ministry of Education.
Today’s reopening of exit classes must have come as a surprise to most parents, teachers, and students. As you may well recall, it was just a couple of weeks ago that the Federal Government suspended a previously-announced reopening of schools under its jurisdiction. As Nairametrics reported, the Minister for Education, Adamu Adamu, had even advised WAEC to suspend its examinations. He also urged state governments to toe the line of the federal government because it wasn’t the right time to reopen the schools. According to him, it would be preferable for the students to lose an academic year than to become exposed to COVID-19.
The government’s earlier stance was understandably met with a lot of criticisms on social media. It is, therefore, interesting that the decision was re-considered.