Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the federal government over the cancellation of the forthcoming West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
POLITICS NIGERIA had reported that the Nigerian Government had announced that the examination has been cancelled, citing safety concerns due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
But in a statement on Friday, the former PDP presidential aspirant said that the cancellation of the examination was a bad idea which puts Nigeria at more risk.
He noted that some Nigerians students might travel to neighbouring countries to seat for the exam thereby putting more people at risk of contracting COVID-19.
Atiku said rather than cancelling the examination, the government should look for better ways to protect the health of Nigerians and prevent the pandemic from escalating.
“Already, Nigeria lags behind other African nations in crucial indices, like school enrolment, pass rates, and out of school children. This action will further create chaos in the public education system and exacerbate an already bad situation,” Atiku said.
“Rather than cancellation, there are better ways to protect the health of Nigerians and prevent the pandemic from escalating.
“We could mobilise all available public & private infrastructures, including primary schools, stadia, and cinemas, for the examinations.
“In the alternative, the Federal Government can prevail on WAEC to have staggered examinations with a different set of questions for each shift.
“Doing so will allow WAEC Nigeria to implement social distancing and achieve the goal of carrying out the examinations. A win-win scenario.”
“I urge this administration to take into account that the lives they are trying to save will be further put at risk because if this policy is not reversed, tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of Nigerians, will breach social distancing rules to cross over to neighbouring West African nations to write their WASSCE, rather than miss a year,” Atiku added.