With the Federal Government on Wednesday putting on hold the planned resumption of federal schools and stopping pupils from participating in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination previously scheduled to hold between August 4 and September 5, graduating pupils across the country share their thoughts on the postponement
Govt discouraging us from studying
We were told the exam was rescheduled for August 4, 2020. We were supposed to have sat this exam and concluded it by July, but because of this COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t possible.
Now, we hear that WASSCE for 2020 has been cancelled. This will make me reluctant to study because it is as if the government is joking with pupils and discouraging us from reading. They could have made proper arrangements, just like other West African countries, for their children to sit the examination.
The government is toying with our future. If other African countries could make proper arrangements for their children to sit the examination, why can’t Nigeria do the same? Nigerian children are disadvantaged because of this decision.
—Precious Timi Benson
I hawked, starved to pay WASSCE fees
I want to pour out my grievance regarding this West African Examinations Council exam postponement. I’m finding it difficult to believe this. In fact, I am very hungry now. I wish you knew how much I suffered and what I passed through to pay for this exam. Some of us did different things; I hawked before paying my exam fees.
It will affect me badly and the effect on our society will be worse. Crime will increase, rape will skyrocket and other social vices will rise because when parents are leaving their houses, they will leave the children behind and you know what that means.
For over seven months, after paying the price by reading my books, what I got was postponement. I am hungry; my parents are also hungry. It has caused so many things in my life. Other sectors have reopened; just yesterday (Wednesday), they reopened the airports. Government should find a way to reverse this because some churches, mosques, and even markets that are crowded are open. So, why shut down schools?
Our plans disorganised
I am not happy with the Federal Government’s decision to suspend the WAEC examination this year. I was supposed to have sat this examination by July, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, we could not, and now, it has been shifted maybe to next year.
My family had earlier planned that I would sit this examination and conclude everything concerning secondary school exams and focus on higher education next year, but with this change, our plans have been disorganised.
The postponement could make pupils fail
I feel very bad because I have been preparing for this examination since SS1 and when I heard the news, it is something that anyone would feel bad about. We were supposed to take this exam on June 4, but we heard of the postponement to August 4 because of COVID-19. Now, it seems as though the exam has been cancelled for the year.
I felt that after the exam, I would look for something to engage myself to assist my parents so I can train my younger ones before thinking of going to the university. Now that the exam has been cancelled, my plans have been disrupted. Also, many people will lose hope in reading their books and it will make people fail the exam in 2021.
I’ll become lazy
I started my preparation for the exam at the beginning of this year. I’m disappointed by this postponement because my plans have been tampered with. I had been reading and preparing for this exam. I took the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and when I was preparing for it, I was also preparing for WASSCE. I knew that WASSCE wouldn’t be hard for me but with the new development, it would be difficult for me to concentrate and read.
Shifting our exam now will make me lazy. However, I intend to start learning how to bake as a way of keeping myself busy. That would also make my stay at home not to be wasted and it will help me a lot in the future.
Our all-night studies in vain
When I got the news of the postponement, I felt very bad. I was shocked and confused. In fact, I was demoralised. I had been reading for months, burning the midnight oil. Now, they have postponed the exam indefinitely. That action will discourage many pupils from reading. We even went to the extent of not sleeping at night to ensure our success.
Inasmuch as we thank the government for the high premium placed on our lives, if markets, churches and mosques that are more crowded can open on a daily basis, why can’t schools, especially the graduating classes, reopen?
I’m begging the govt to reverse the postponement
Few days ago, I was the happiest man on earth when I heard that our exam had been fixed for August and September. But to my greatest shock, the Federal Government said the same exam had been postponed indefinitely. That means it will not hold this year anymore.
I know what it cost me to read each night and how much sleep I sacrificed. Some of us scored over 200 in the UTME and are waiting to take the WASSCE to finalise our admission. As I speak, I am confused. I don’t know what to do, so I am begging the government to reverse this postponement and fix the exam for us.
Exam centres should have sick bays
Instead of stopping us from taking the exam as planned, the Federal Government should adopt all the health protocols to safeguard us during the examination period. We should be compelled to wear face masks to the examination hall. Each exam centre should be made to have a sick bay where any pupil whose temperature is found to be higher than normal during the examination should be attended to before he is allowed to sit the examination.
Government should also dispatch security agents to examination centres to ensure compliance with all the safety protocols against the COVID-19. Stopping us from sitting the examination in August will not help the educational system in Nigeria. Any further postponement of the examination in Nigeria may lead some pupils to join bad gangs and some may even die of depression. Government should please rescind its decision and allow us to sit the exam.
FG should mobilise doctors for exam
I am in science class and I prepared for the exam. The Federal Government should adopt social distancing in the sitting arrangement during the exam, instead of stopping us. Government should also adopt other health guidelines, including washing of hands with soap before and after entering the examination halls. Government should also mobilise health workers, including doctors and nurses, to the various examination centres to assist pupils who may have health issues during the exam.
I appeal to the Federal Government not to stop us from taking the exam. They should not toy with our future. Some pupils may even lose interest in going to school as nobody is sure when the pandemic will be over. Some pupils may even be used by people with criminal tendencies since we will be idle at home.
Some pupils may join bad gangs
I strongly urge the Federal Government to reverse its decision and allow us to take WASSCE in August. The truth is that since the COVID-19 lockdown began, some pupils have not opened their books, although some of us have been studying for the exam. If you now ask us to sit at home for a longer period and not allow us to take the examination in August, it may serve as an impetus for some pupils to join bad gangs. I would appeal to government to allow us to take the exam while it should put in place all the required health protocols to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread during the exam since that is what the Federal Government is afraid of.
I’ll lose one year
I have been preparing for WASSCE for the past seven months and I was looking forward to taking this final exam, only to hear the news that it has been postponed. Honestly, I feel so bad about the postponement because all my plans have been ruined. With this new development, it means I’ll have to lose one whole year and this will make me lazy. I won’t be able to prepare as I did before. Right now, I can’t read any longer because I feel the exam is too far away. Be that as it may, I have engaged myself in learning how to sew at a tailoring shop here in Yelwa.
Pupils should learn a trade
I have been preparing for about three to four months for this exam. I feel so bitter about this because I took the UTME on March 23 and I was hoping to get admission into the higher institution but this pandemic didn’t make it possible. I have the same feeling as other pupils in their final year. We all feel so bad about this. But where there is life, there is hope. I still have faith that I will gain admission into the university this year; I believe that can happen.
In the meantime, I am learning how to sew and I would advise my friends and other pupils in their final year or those waiting for schools to resume not to waste this opportunity. They should use it wisely and engage themselves in learning any kind of trade or skill so that the lockdown won’t be a waste of time.
I’ll continue studying
It is an opportunity to cover more ground in areas I am lacking and to be more prepared for the examination. I don’t have a problem with the postponement. Now, I will focus on my studies so that any time they call us for the exams, I will be ready.
— Chiamaka Eze
Compiled by Sampson Itode, Raphael Ede, Matthew Ochei, Olaide Oyelude and Armstrong Bakam