The National Association of Proprietors of Private schools through its National President Yomi Otubela have urged the Federal government to reverse its decision on the cancellation of the sub-regional examination (WASSCE) by allowing Students Sit for the exams.
A report by Nigerian Tribune indicates that the private school owners in the country said some parents of their students, who registered for 2020 West African Senior Secondary School Examination (WASSCE) being conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), have started asking for the refund of their children’s registration fees for the exam.
The newspaper hinted that the parents were doing this based on the uncertainty that is now surrounding the conduct of the two exams as the federal government has pulled out all the 104 unity school students nationwide from participating in WASSCE, which is already scheduled to commence on August 3. The school owners under the aegis of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), gave this hint, at a virtual press conference in Lagos, on Monday, July 13.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of the group, the national president, Yomi Otubela, said even though the said money had since been remitted to WAEC and NECO, parents had reasoned that they would use the money to register their children for a similar exam in the neighbouring countries. He said that is part of why the government would have to reverse its stance concerning the exams by reopening schools gradually and also allowing students to sit for the exams.
While highlighting other reasons which he considered more important, NAPPS boss said the conduct of the exam would, among others prevent students from going through emotional trauma due to the suspension of the exam having fully prepared for it and also known that their peers in other member countries would participate. “The exam would also avoid them a situation where they will be forced to go to neighbouring countries such as Ghana, among others to register for the same exam and that would not be good for Nigeria’s image, or may make them lose interest in education and because of that embrace social vices without minding repercussion on themselves and the society,” he said. He said apart from the fact that the private schools are fully prepared and ready for the gradual reopening of schools and sitting for WASSCE and other exams without compromising safety guidelines and protocols set by the government against the spread of COVID-19, its appeal to government is extended to cover the public schools nationwide.
Otubela said since the closure of schools, private schools had been preparing towards resumption by providing for the required safety equipment such as running water and soap for hand-washing, infra-red thermometers, sick-bay, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and so forth. He said in addition to that, students in terminal classes are fewer and would, therefore, be easily monitored and controlled as regards the social/physical distancing and the adherence to other safety guidelines. Otubela, who lamented that coronavirus pandemic had really taken a huge toll on them and their workers since no income is coming in since the closure of schools, lauded the federal government for the release of N2.3 trillion stimulus package to support teachers’ salary and the Central Bank N5O billion single digits intervention loan to cushion the effect of the pandemic on schools.