During an interview in Ibadan on Thursday News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the West African Examination Council (WAEC) had on Tuesday released its examination timetable and guidelines for the 2020 WASSCE.
However the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, stated on Wednesday that candidates in the country would no longer sit for the examination, citing safety concerns to contain the spread of the dreaded virus.
Prof. Clement Kolawole of the Department of Education, University of Ibadan said the government was in a better position to regulate its programmes based on the information and facts available to it.
“Although the development is a surprise, it is better to stay alive than to cause untold hardship or expose our children to COVID-19 through WASSCE,” he said.
Also speaking, Prof. Oyesoji Aremu of the Department of Guidance and Counselling, University of Ibadan, added that the virus is bound to spread as the wellness of the candidates, parents and officials who would conduct the examinations is at risk.
“Although WAEC has assured the public of ensuring the best of COVID-19 protocols, it goes beyond that given that examination itself could bring about a state of anxiety in students and their parents.
“Here, it becomes much more expedient to also ensure the mental wellness of the students while also safeguarding COVID-19 protocols.
“This is not only for the students but also for examination officials who may also be at risk.
“Chances are that there could be a student to student transmission in the course of writing examinations because chances are high that students will discuss with one another.
“There could also be students to officials transmissions either before, during and after a paper is written,” Aremu said.
Additionally, he said there is likely to be high risk of examination malpractice as candidates disguise with the use of face masks.
“WAEC officials would have to guard against it in order to ensure quality assurance of the whole exercise whenever the new date is set for the examination,” Aremu said.
Prof. Adams Onuka, an education evaluation expert at the University of Ibadan, on his part, said it was imperative to be cautious at this time.
“Since the government is expected to protect the lives of the people, they must have weighed the available options, did the analysis and came to the conclusion that only those who are alive can benefit from writing examinations.
“So what use is it for people to write examinations and then lose their lives? Who then will benefit from the fall out from the examination?
“It will not benefit anybody; parents, students, government and the nation.
” Therefore, we have to make haste slowly,” he said.