Owners of private schools in Nigeria under the aegis of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) have called on the Federal Government to reconsider its stand on the suspension of year 2020 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE); saying private schools are fully prepared for school reopening with various safety materials.

National President of the association, Chief Yomi Otubela in a virtual meeting with newsmen in Lagos on Monday appealed to FG to have a rethink on the WASSCE and NECO examinations to avoid emotional trauma that SSS3 students will be subjected to as a result of the cancellation of 2020 SSSCE.

The Federal government had last week said no Nigerian school would participate in WASSCE earlier scheduled to hold from August 3 to September 5, 2020.

The Education Minister, Adamu Adamu said the atmosphere is not conducive for the May/June diet of WASSCE to hold in Nigeria.

To avoid emotional trauma, Otubela advised the government to deploy the services of Clinical Psychologists to evaluate the state of minds of the students whenever they are ready to sit for the examinations due to mental trauma that will arise as a result of the suspension of the examinations after rigorous preparations by students and knowing that their counterparts in other countries will be taking the examination.

He also stressed the need for government to revisit the issue of phased reopening of schools for conduct of examinations to avoid a situation where Nigerian students will be forced to seek an alternative way of writing the examinations by approaching neighbouring countries such as Ghana or other countries.

“As a result of a prolonged closure, the majority of students may likely lose interest in education and embrace social vices inimical to their wellbeing and public safety as well.

“Consequent upon the announcement of the suspension of the 2020 WAEC examinations for SSS3 students, parents of students in private schools have started to approach the management of private schools demanding the refund of the money paid on behalf of their children to partake in the examinations, which private schools had already remitted to the examination bodies

“Their reasons are premised on the decision to utilise the refunds to approach other neighbouring countries so that their children can sit for 2020 WAEC examinations outside the country,” he said.

Otubela however made known the readiness of NAPPS leadership to meet with the Minister of Education and other stakeholders to assure government of the safety protocols that have been put in place in private schools to ensure the safety of students nationwide.

According to him, the Board of Trustees and National Executive Council of NAPPS met online on Friday to take position that private schools are ready for reopening of schools with standard safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus within the school premises.

“Private schools under NAPPS are ready to resume with strict adherence to the safety protocols advised by the NCDC.

“Based on our readiness to safely reopen schools in phases, we are calling on the Federal Ministry of Education to revisit its reversal on resumption and suspension of 2020 public examinations. Moreover, phased reopening of schools for SSS3 and JSS3 will ensure there will be fewer students in schools than usual which makes physical distancing easier to enforce,” he noted.

While he appealed to both Federal and State Governments to make public schools ready for reopening, he suggested that a task force be instituted to monitor and ensure strict compliance during the conduct of the examinations.

“Considering the level of success achieved so far with the reopening of airports for domestic flights through strict adherence to safety protocols for passengers, we are sure that the same level of success will be recorded when schools are reopened,” he added.

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