The Federal Government on Monday said that there is no policy somersault on its decision to stop students in the 104 unity schools across the country from writing this year’s West African Senior Secondary School Examination (WASSCE) scheduled for August 4 and September 5 2020.
The Minister of State Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said this in Abuja at the 50th joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
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The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu had last week said that no school under its supervision will participate in the exams.
This year’s examination, administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), was postponed indefinitely in April after schools were shut down across the country as part of measures to contain the COVID-19 spread.
However, Mr. Nwajiuba, announced during the PTF media briefing on Monday, July 6, 2020 that the exam will now take place between August 4 and September 5.
Nwajiuba said, “There was no policy somersault. Mallam Adamu Adamu is consistently in tune with what we have just said here.
“If you had listened to the chairman of the PTF on Monday last week, he came out straight, no schools are reopened. We did not reopen any school.
“He was only given what we have only received, it was the time table as published by WAEC and advised that within this period and the time when the exams will take place in August, anybody who wants to use the school will have to follow that guidelines and that the ministry of education will follow those.
“The PTF never said here that they were reopening any school. They only provided that assurance and that guidance.
“After FEC on Wednesday, Mallam Adamu Adamu, advised the public that based on information that the PTF and NCDC has proffered, that the Unity Colleges, because those are only 104 out of 19,129 schools that he will not agree and in fact it is not advisable.”
The minister added, “He (Adamu) goes further to advise that we do not open those institutions for the use of exams. And that perhaps he advised since it was WAEC that proposed those dates we will be engaging WAEC to reconsider the dates.
“However, he said he is not in charge of private schools and schools that fall under the concurrent list and therefore, devolve to sub-nationals who can take a decision as to what will happen to their state own schools and whether they can participate or not.
“How anyone can read that as inconsistent or at difference with what we have consistently advocated and provided at this platform, is something that beats my imagination. And I asked the country to please reconsider those kinds of assumptions because they are not true. What he has said is in tune with the guidelines released today.”
When asked if he was implying that only unity schools are exempted from sitting for the WASSCE while others can go ahead and write the exams, he responded:
“For clarity, Mallam (Adamu) said, the 104 schools are not available. He does not have control over the governors, it will be unconstitutional to say he can tell the governors what to do. You have heard from the chairman ( PTF Chairman Boss Mustapha) consistently that we try to marry what we do with the governors forum.
“What we do at the PTF is to have a national response, so the governors may look at the data which we also have. It appears to me that they understand the same things we are doing but we do not want to impose anything on them.”