Afe Babalola, CON, OFR, SAN a Legal luminary and the founder of Afe Babalola University, has joined the likes of Atiku Abubakar in opposing the decision of the Federal government to cancel Nigeria’s participation in the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination WASSCE
Babalola in a statement on Tuesday said the cancellation of WAEC may result in ”a year of idleness for 1.5million students and breed frustration and promote criminality”.
Recalls that the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had said that Nigeria will not be reopening schools for graduating students to write WAEC due to the increasing number of confirmed COVID19 cases in the country.
Babalola, reacting, said rather than cancel the examination, the Government should allow schools to conduct the examinations within their halls so the students can obey all the COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing and others.
His statement entitled, ‘Nigeria’s non-participation in the 2020 WASCE: Irreparable damage,’ reads in part
“If the Federal Government insists that there would be no WASSCE this year, the students are not just losing one calendar year, but losing an integral part of their entire lives which is gone forever by such declaration.
He proposed that the government should use the empty spaces which are wasting away in tertiary institutions, secondary schools and elementary schools to accommodate them with a lot of social distancing and due compliance with World Health Organisation rules.
“It is my firm belief that the future of these 1.5 million young Nigerians who have registered for WAEC should not be put in jeopardy.
“It is a well-known fact that all schools, colleges, and tertiary institutions in the country are shut down. This allows the Federal Government to use them for the WAEC examination.
“What the government should do is to prepare the empty rooms for the WAEC examination, fumigate the halls and the premises, use face masks, provide sanitizers, and ensure that WHO rules are observed.
“Are we saying that the other four countries do not appreciate the lives of their students? Why was the issue not turned over to the Nigerian body of WAEC or the general body of WAEC in Accra before the declaration of withdrawal to Nigeria?
He wondered if the Minister took into consideration the moral and legal implication of Nigeria as a signatory to WAEC laws or the effect of such a unilateral declaration of withdrawal?
Babalola stressed that all that is required of the government is to have proper management and discussion of unilateral cancellation of the WAEC examination
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