The National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) has made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to recall SS3 and JSS3 students to sit for three important terminal examinations.
According to NAPTAN, the public examinations are the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), Senior School Certificate Examination and Junior School Certificate Examination (JSCE). NAPTAN in a letter addressed to the Minister of Education, dated May 14, 2020 and signed by its National President, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, advised the government to immediately recall SS3 and JSS3 in order to sit for their WASSCE, SSCE and JSCE exams.
Giving reason for their demand, NAPTAN says it is to avoid creating a serious gap in the nation’s secondary education calendar, stating “the academic calendar has already been tempered with due to the abrupt closure of schools nationwide.”
“No doubt, this has created confusion not only to government but amongst other stakeholders including parents and teachers as well.
“In this case, since we lack the technology and capacity to continue teaching and organising examinations for the students at home, we should consider bring them back to school purposely for the conduct of WASSCE, SSCE and JSCE examinations.’’
The number one stakeholders in education and mouth piece of all parents, said with good planning, the recall can be done without any difficulties, stressing that the most crucial aspect is to ensure strict observance of medical advice and regulations on COVID-19 pandemic.
The parents explained that the most important of such regulations are, maintaining a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing, avoiding handshake, regular hand washing using soup and water or an alcoholic based hand rub, and the use of face mask.
“And with proper planning, this can easily be done without much trouble.Of all the regulations, the issue of space is the most important. And happily, adequate spaces are completely not going to be a problem since all other students are at home.
“In order words, in each school there are abundant class facilities to spread the students in accordance to the medical regulations. Thus, once spaces are created all the other regulations especially wearing of face mask and hand washing can be followed easily,” NAPTAN explained.
The body observed that since the recall will be an emergency one, there is need to reorganize the WASSCE, SSCE, and JSCE examinations in order for the timetable to fit the condition.
NAPTAN, “Unnecessary longer space in terms of days between one examination paper and the other should be logically reduced. However, the adjustment of the timetable should be done without putting the students under any pressure and without violating any of the examination regulations”.
Danjuma observed that the reason given by government for nationwide shutting down of schools is basically to reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 disease.
The body further noted that having realised the effects of long time shutting of the schools might cause, many states have introduced teaching of students on radio and television, arguing “this is to eradicate idleness and to enable students while still at home, to catch up with their lessons according to designated school calendar or term.”
Acknowledging that there is no official statement, NAPTAN explained that it is not of place to say that the 2019/2020 academic calendar across in the country is suspended pending when normalcy returns.
The parents also acknowledged that the most affected are SS3 and JSS3 final year students, adding this set of students are expected to sit for their terminal WAEC, NECO, NABTEB and BECE in the months of March/April and June/July but unfortunately the nation has found itself in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.
NAPTAN noted: “This, therefore put the fate of the students as regard sitting for the WASSCE, SSCE and JSCE exams in a state of confusion and uncertainty, instead of being busy, the students are at home. This is actually a very sad experience for both the students and their parents as well.”