The Federal Government on Monday finally asked schools in the country to reopen for graduating pupils in primary six, JSS 3 and SSS 3, effective August 4.
It was also brought public that the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) would commence on August 17.
This was included in a statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong.
In the statement titled, ‘Exit Classes To Reopen August 4th’, the ministry said the agreed dates were part of the resolutions reached after a consultative meeting with the Commissioners of Education from the 36 states of the federation and other stakeholders.
“Secondary schools in the country are to reopen as from the 4th of August, 2020 for exit classes only. Students will have two weeks within which to prepare for the West African Examinations (WAEC) due to start on the 17th of August, 2020,” the statement read.
“These were the unanimous decisions reached today at a virtual consultative meeting between the Federal Ministry of Education, Honourable Commissioners of Education of the 36 states, the Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT), the proprietors of private schools, and Chief Executives of examination bodies.
“It was agreed that the exit classes should resume immediately after the Sallah break, from the 4th of August, 2020 to enable them prepare for the WAEC examinations scheduled to commence from the 17th of August, 2020.
“The meeting also resolved that a passionate appeal be made to the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and public spirited Nigerians for assistance to schools across the country to enable them fast track the preparations for safe reopening, as agreed,” Goong said.
Goong added that another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday “between the federal ministry of education and chief executives of examination bodies namely, NECO, NABTEB and NBAIS to harmonise their examination dates, which will be conveyed to stakeholders expeditiously by the Federal Ministry of Education.”
In March 2020, threat of the COVID-19 pandemic caused schools across the country to get closed forcefully.
Although it was earlier announced in July that schools would reopen, the decision was reversed and federal government colleges were exempted from taking part in the WAEC examinations for the year 2020.
House of Representatives, other stakeholders in the education sector, as well as various reactions followed the decision, urging the government to reconsider.
The Ministry of Education eventually announced that it would discuss with WAEC on a possible shift in the date for the commencement of the examination, which was earlier scheduled to start on August 4.