The House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services, the Ministry of Education, and West African Examination Council (WAEC), Nigeria, on Thursday had a meeting in Abuja and reached a resolution to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and Governors, in a bid to resolve the WASSCE examination issue.
The meeting which was convened by the House of Representatives, agreed that if the September date for the Examination is to become a reality, then, there is an urgent need to get President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governors’ Forum involved in order for all parties to reach an amicable decision.
They was agreed that for the interest of the 1.6million candidates registered for the WASSCE examination, it is imperative to agree on a date for the regional examination as the country does not have much time at his disposal.
One major priority is to find an acceptable date for the examination, but the Head of WAEC National office in Nigeria, Patric Areghan disclosed that printing question papers and other convoluted logistics considerations will take time.
The WAEC HNO also added that Ghana had scheduled examination in June, but decided to discard the idea because of its coming election.
Areghan revealed that in Gambia, it was a Presidential directive that shelves its desire to have the examination before now.
In his statement, he said Nigeria should decide if it wants to give its candidates what he called a COVID-19 exam certificate or a WAEC certificate in concert with other countries.
“Getting parents to pay another set of fees might be difficult if the September date is missed. If the November date is considered, someone has to pick the bills,” he stated.
The Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono said that WAEC is one of the institution that ‘champion’ the course for regional cooperation, and separating the exams will break the element of unity is signifies,
Echono further stressed that, if adequate funding is made available, it should not take more than a week for to put logistics in place for all the 19,000 centres across Nigeria.
A member of the Committee on Basic Education and Services in the House of Rep, Nnolim Nnaji wondered why that should be a problem, while making reference on how the Ministry of Humanitarian Affair spent over N13billion as palliative for the COVID-19 Pandemic.
However, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, reminded all present, to note that, the decision they were to take was for examination date and not the resumption of schools across the country.
There were also deliberations by members on the possibility of Nigeria to us its power as a provider of about 60 per cent of the finances in WAEC to dictate a date of its liking.
All stakeholders present, finally agree that decision reached should be democratic in nature.
In a related development, the Chairman of the Committee ruled that the Committee would use the Nigeria Governors’ Forum platform to approach the State Governors, so all parties can be on the same page, while President Muhammadu Buhari will assist in the diplomatic effort to get other regional countries to be in tandem to whatever decision Nigeria reached as regard the date for WASSCE.