- Former NUC secretary, Peter Okebukola, has supported FG over its on WAEC
- Okebukola said going ahead with WAEC will be unsafe for the children
- The ex-NUC scribe said the coronavirus pandemic at the moment in the country is critical based on the rising statistics and the opinions of health experts
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Professor Peter Okebukola, a former executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), has expressed support for the sudden U-turn by the federal government not to allow Nigerian candidates to participate in 2020 West African Examinations Council (WAEC) which has been fixed for between August 3 and September 5.
Nigerian Tribune reports that he said this was not the ideal date as it was still unsafe for Nigeria to reopen schools either gradually or wholly, let alone allow the students to gather for any exam.
Legit.ng gathered that the coronavirus pandemic at the moment in the country is critical based on the rising statistics and the opinions of health experts, and great caution must, therefore, be taken.
He said it would not do the country any good to expose students to the health hazards associated with the virus.
“And no parent will claim ignorance of this daily rise in both cases in the country and so reopening of schools and allowing students to sit for WASSCE is like gambling with their lives, and those same parents will blame the minister if unpleasant things happen,” he said.
Giving three scenarios through which students are at great risk of contracting the virus, especially in the cities, Okebukola said they could contract the virus on their way to or from school.
“They may also get infected inside schools through unprotected interaction among themselves or with their teachers like the case of Ghana, Kenya and South Africa; also, among those in boarding schools with choked-up hostels especially in our public schools and who have been physically separated for about four months,” he added.
He said it was not that schools could not be reopened at least gradually, but only in a situation where people are strictly adhering to safety measures at all places to flatten the COVID-19 curve rather than moving up it as it is currently.
Okebukola, who is a professor of science and computer education said even at that students would need a minimum of six weeks of revision when back in schools to prepare well for any external exam having been home for about four months, otherwise, there would be mass cheating and failure in the exams.
He noted that many students, especially in the rural communities have not been benefitting in the various e-learning activities that have been taking place since the closure of schools and such students would return to schools poorly prepared for the WASSCE and would then indulge in malpractice to pass.
Okebukola, however, said the Federal Government could approach WAEC to request for a better time when the environment is clement for all concerned to conduct the exam.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the novel coronavirus pandemic charged Nigerians to find a way to get tested for the infection to know their status.
It was reported that the task force also advised that all government and board meetings should be restricted to the virtual, adding that all unnecessary travels for meetings by government officials should be suspended until further notice.
COVID-19: Parents speak on allowing their children to return to school | - on Legit TV