..Want Ministers to work with Governors for smooth examination

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The House of Representatives has asked the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu to reverse the decision barring Nigerian students from participating in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) scheduled to commence on August 4.

The Green Chamber directed the Ministry of Science and Technology as well as the Ministries of Environment and Health to immediately work out an agenda to fumigate all classrooms , provide handwashing buckets with soap and water, and facemasks to all students.

It called for immediate cancellation of
the original plan of opening hostels for boarding to facilitate revision classes while the students should come from home, write each paper and disperse immediately.

The House urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct all his Ministers to return to their states, work with the Governors and ensure the smooth implementation of the policy and conduct of the examination.

Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Julius Ihonvbere who gave these directives Friday in a statement said the lawmakers received with amazement the announcement by the Minister that Nigerian students would not be participating in examination.

Ihonvbere faulted the Minister for not informing the country if the decision was in agreement with other West African leaders or in consultation with the examination bodies, the state governments and other stakeholders in the education sector.

He also blamed the Minister for not informing the public if the decision was the outcome of a meeting with all State Governments that are in charge of all but the Unity Secondary Schools that are owned by the Federal government.

“The Hon. Minister of State, in his usually consultative and participatory approach had briefed the nation at the Covid 19 presidential Committee briefing, over the airwaves and in an appearance before the House Committee on Basic Education where he assured Nigerians that all steps had or were being taken to ensure full compliance with all Covid 19 protocols.

“This sudden policy reversal is not good for the country. It is bound to create further confusion in the education sector, create disappointment and suspicion among parents, frustrate the students, and show to our development partners and Nigerians that the distortions and disarticulations in the sector are only getting worse.

“The reversal also shows that our policy makers may just be adopting a laid-back approach to the need to confront the novel coronavirus rather than taking proactive and creative steps to manage and contain it.

“The House Committee appreciates the reservations of the Honourable Minister of Education. We are parents just like him. No Nigerian parent would want to delay, distort, even terminate the progress of their child.

“We are convinced that if our policy of no boarding house, reconceptualising scope of exams, use of all classrooms and halls in the schools, quadrupling the number of invigilators, provision of facemasks, sanitizers and hand washing facilities are followed, the WASSCE can be conducted with ease and with no repercussions. Let us collectively save and advance our educational system and build a future we can be all proud of”, the Committee Chairman noted

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