Some Nigerians have expressed divergent views over Federal Government’s refusal to reopen schools in spite of the planned commencement of of the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for school candidates.
The Federal Government on Wednesday dismissed media reports that Unity Schools would reopen for graduating students to sit for their final examinations.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, made the clarification when he addressed State House correspondents at the end of the virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council.
Adamu said that schools controlled by the Federal Government would not reopen until it would be safe to do so because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the West Africa Examination Council has scheduled 2020 WASSCE to hold from Aug. 3 to Sept. 5.
Some Lagos residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that the government decision was a welcome development.
Some others, however, frowned at it.
A lawyer, Mrs Ayo Sanni, told NAN that it would be better to save than endanger the lives of the students.
“The coast is not yet clear, many people are not keeping to the guidelines to prevent the virus.
“This is the reason the virus is eating deep into the nation, and opening of schools will make it worse; the number will triple.
“Boycotting examination is better than being infected with the virus which may lead to death,” Sanni said.
She advised Nigerians to cooperate with the government and not toy with the lives of schoolchildren because of the desire to write WASSCE or any other examination.
A civil servant, Mrs Esther Amoo, said that it would be better to lose an academic year than put children’s lives at risk.
“The virus will not go on suspension during the period of the examination, life is more important than writing any examination.
“Some people still believe that there is nothing like COVID-19 in Nigeria; children from such homes will never take precautions.
“People who are calling on government to reopen schools for examination will surely blame the government for negligence if the children are infected by the virus while writing the examinations,” Amoo said.
She said that there would still be life after coronavirus pandemic but no life would exist after death.
She called on the government to reopen schools after the virus would have been reduced to the lowest point.
However, Mr Afolabi Ajayi, a businessman, said that government’s decision not to allow students to write WASSCE was unacceptable.
“This is not fair, if the government insists it is not safe for schools to reopen for any examination, then it is not also safe to ease the lockdown,” Ajayi said.
Also, Mrs Mojirade Ojo, a private school proprietress in Ayobo, urged the government not to deny the students the opportunity to write the examination.
“The students have paid for the examination and are looking forward to writing their papers, the government should allow them to participate.
“The schools will comply with all the precautionary measures.
“Besides, the reopening of school is just only for final year students and not for the whole classes,” she said.
Mr Bayonle Adeniyi, an entrepreneur, resident in Akute, Ogun, said that the government should not lock down the educational system indefinitely because of COVID:19
“The school management can be mandated to divide the students into batches to reduce the risk of contracting the virus,” Adeniyi said.