Except if the schools didn’t “cover their academic syllabus” due to COVID-19 lockdown, I don’t think students should not write their WAEC final SSSC exams.
With other students at home, it will be easier to observe social distance by candidates in more available classrooms with students in masks which can be removed in exam halls, enough sanitizer and temperature testing gadgets with other protocol observed, the venue will be safe to write their exams just in few days.
Already these students are playing around meeting people in buses, offices, markets, on the roads, visiting friends and families with least observance of COVID-19 protocols like most Nigerians.
Recently, I moved across four states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun, I can conveniently say that only around 10-15% people I met in hotels, offices, peppersoup joints, bukas, buses, petrol stations, University of Ibadan, supermarkets and other places observed COVID-19 protocols in different degrees, styles and mood.
The reality is that examination venue is always formal with strict adherence to rules, so, it will be easier for students, invigilators, supervisors, observers and other concerned to observe COVID-19 protocols for the venue to be safe.
Instead of exam boycott by candidates in Nigeria as ordered by the federal government through a pronouncement by the education minister, who looked combative as if he was on an ego trip with WAEC or he wanted to engage coronavirus in physical combat when making the declaration on TV, government, both federal and state, should put enough resources down for the provision of all necessary gadgets and manpower for safety.
This indefinite boycott of WAEC and possibly NECO exams later when political, economic and social activities are already peaking (except we want to deceive ourselves), it will be wrong to postpone special educational activity like a short duration exam which affects our youths and their future. The same highly mobile restless youths that are already everywhere engaging in different activities at homes and outside mostly unprotected.
The emphasis of government, teachers and parents should be on how to make the venue very safe and students well enlightened on the need to take responsibility. We can’t continue to wait for a vaccine which we don’t have a say on when it will be found or manufactured.
We can’t continue to postpone exam and the re-opening of schools indefinitely until the curve is flattened when 0.0015 percent of Nigerians have only been tested, and most of those tested are the “big boys and girls” in Nigeria while the low class rely on “pelebe”, (locally manufactured gin) spiritualism and self consolation of “Kosi Koro” (no COVID-19) since there’s no chance most of them will ever be tested. So, why will they believe when they are not tested and with the possibility of not being tested at all.
This article was written by Adeola Soetan and was originally published by saharareporters.com.