Vice President, Industrial Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu, has called on the Federal Government to negotiate an out-of-season date for West African Examinations Council’s (WAEC) Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE).
He said there should be continuous dialogue by all stakeholders as steps are being taken to reopen schools, even as he emphasized the need to protect the lives of students and ensuring digital creative learning processes.
Speaking in Kaduna yesterday on the occasion of this year’s International Nelson Mandela Day, themed: COVID: 19: Preventing the Spread in Schools, Aremu said, though timetable for WAEC’s SSCE has been announced to commence from August 4, the out-of-season date was necessary to protect school children.
He said, “In Kenya, schools will remain shut till 2021. Ghana is already reconsidering the decision on reopening after a spike in COVID-19. The JAMB Bulletin Volume 1 No. 18 of July 13, culled from a creditable South African source, 775 schools in the country have been affected by COVID-19. About 26 of the states in America are rolling back the plan to reopen schools.”
He however advised that caution should be the watch word because even with the adults, there is an inefficiency of the NPIs (Non-pharmaceutical Interventions) to control Covid-19.
“Nigerian government should request WAEC to conduct the SSCE when the environment is right out of the regular May/June, November/December seasons. Whatever the consensus on schools reopening, there is an urgent need for a systematic awareness about prevention of Virus infection among pupils, teachers and parents,” he said.
“There should be Installation of hand-washing facilities, provision of equipment for body temperature checks, provision of personal protective equipment, body disinfectants at all entering points to their major facilities, including the gates, hostels, classes, offices, decontamination of the premises and teaching facilities that ensure social/physical distancing in class sizes and meeting spaces among others.”
He explained that “All these raise critical issues of capacity and resources availability. The most important advice is for all schools to encourage their students to maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene to remain safe. School proprietors, headmasters, and head mistresses must ensure that students have access to clean water and soap at all times while on the school premises.”