COVID-19: No WAEC for Nigerian students now ― FG
The Federal Government has told exiting students, who are preparing for their final examinations, that they will not be able to return to school any time soon because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who gave this position, said the government will rather see the students miss an academic session than to expose them to dangers.
He was speaking to State House correspondents after Wednesday’s virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The Minister, who debunked media reports credited the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) cannot determine when Nigeria schools will resume.
He called on state governments which have already announced their schools’ resumption to reconsider their stance.
Adamu said: “I don’t know whether you journalists are misquoting the Minister of State for Education or maybe quoting what WAEC said and made it into a story. Schools under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education will not be opened on August 4 or anytime soon.
“Our schools will only open when we believe it’s safe for our children and that is when the situation is right, not when the incidents of the infection is going up in the nation. I just want to make it clear.
“We will not open soon for examination or for any reason unless it is safe for our children, even WAEC. WAEC will not determine for us what we do. Schools will remain closed.
“Yesterday, we called on stakeholders who will tell us the situation and the way it should be done for it to be safe. While the meeting was going on, WAEC announced that they are starting examinations. Let’s see who they are going to start with.
“I will also like to use this position to ask those states that have already announced (reopening), I appeal to them. I think it is not safe. I feel responsible for all children, not just those who are in Federal Government-controlled schools. Please let’s save our children from this.
“One infected child is enough to infect a whole class. When they close from the class they go into the dormitory. This is not the right time to open schools. I appeal to the states that have already announced to reconsider it.”
When asked if Nigeria will not then miss out on this year’s WAEC, he answered: “Me as Minister of Education, if I’m given the chance, I don’t mind Nigeria losing a whole school year than exposing our children to danger. WAEC is a parastatal of the Ministry of Education, they cannot determine for the government what it does.”
On the council’s decision, he revealed that it approved an agreement between the Kaduna Polytechnic (KADPOLY) and an investor to renovate 18 blocks of student hostels.
The contract, which is a 15-year concession at the cost of N744,264 million, is under a Renovate Operate, Maintain and Transfer (ROMT) arrangement.
The Education Minister explained: “It will take one year to construct the hostels, after which the contractor will run it for 15 years within which they will recover what they have sunk into the project.
“There are 18 blocks of hostels and each room in a block will house four students. The total number of students to be housed will be 4,032.”