Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against cancelling the forthcoming West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
The federal government had on informed Nigerians that the yearly WASSCE exams have been cancelled, citing safety concerns because of the raging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
But reacting in a statement on Friday, Atiku Abubakar stated that WAEC cancellation puts Nigeria at more risk.
According to the former VP, some Nigerians students might travel to neighbouring countries to seat for the exam thereby putting more people at risk of contracting COVID-19.
Atiku urged the federal government to explore new ways to protect the health of Nigerians and prevent the pandemic from escalating.
“Already, Nigeria lags behind other African nations in crucial indices, like school enrolment, pass rates, and out of school children. This action will further create chaos in the public education system and exacerbate an already bad situation,” Atiku said.
“Rather than cancellation, there are better ways to protect the health of Nigerians and prevent the pandemic from escalating.
“We could mobilise all available public & private infrastructures, including primary schools, stadia, and cinemas, for the examinations.
“In the alternative, the Federal Government can prevail on WAEC to have staggered examinations with a different set of questions for each shift.
“Doing so will allow WAEC Nigeria to implement social distancing and achieve the goal of carrying out the examinations. A win-win scenario.
“I urge this administration to take into account that the lives they are trying to save will be further put at risk because if this policy is not reversed, tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of Nigerians, will breach social distancing rules to cross over to neighbouring West African nations to write their WASSCE, rather than miss a year,” Atiku added.