The National Association of Proprietors of Privatd Schools (NAPPS) has faulted the reschedule examination time-table released by the West African Examination Council for the conduct of West African Senior School Certificate Examination.
The new time-table released yesterday, July 7 by the Council fixed commencement of the exam for Aug 4, allowing candidates less than a month to prepare and write the crucial certificate examination.
Chief Kingsley Igboke, NAPPS President, Ebonyi branch told our Correspondent on Wednesday in Abakaliki that less than one month given by the exam board was not enough for adequate preparation.
Summitnews recalls that Federal Government (FG) had directed partial reopening of schools across the country to enable pupils and students in certificate classes to go back and write their external examinations.
The affected pupils are those in primary six preparing for both state and federal common entrance examinations and students in Junior Secondary 3 (JSS 3) and students in Senior Secondary 3 (SS3) preparing for the basic and senior secondary certificate examinations.
But, Igboke reacting to the new rescheduled WAEC time-table for WASSCE examination, said that Aug 4, fixed for commencement was very short for candidates to revise and prepare themselves well for the important exam.
The NAPPS leader said that many states including Ebonyi were yet to reopen schools for the candidates to go back to school to prepare for their exams.
He lamented that the four months of schools closure occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the students adversely saying that the less than one month given them to prepare and write the exam was not enough and improper.
He said that the exam body aught to have consulted with key stakeholders in the sector before fixing the rescheduled date stressing that many were caught unawares with the new time-table.
He said: “It is the problem of WAEC; WAEC made a very great mistake because each time there is a posting in social media and WAEC is consulted, the body will say that it has not made any statement; that at the appropriate time, it will release a statement.
“Now, they have given us a very short notice and that is an ’embarrassment’ what they have done is wrong.
“What stops them from looking at their schedule, fix a time where we can be given at least two months time for preparation.
“Everything the students had learnt or prepared for is off their memory; they are starting all over again and they need approximately three months to prepare or at worst two months.
“The less than one month given for revision may affect performances of most of the candidates and WAEC has insisted that they are not going to lower the standard and I commend the council for the position.”
He, however commended efforts of Ebonyi government for working hard to ensure that schools partially resume in earnest in line with the directive of the FG.
“Perhaps, schools may partial reopen by Monday , July 13 in the state although government has not made official statement to that effect but we have had series of engagements with the Commissioner for Education on the issue.
“On Thursday, July 2, we had a meeting with the Commissioner where various committees were set preparatory for partial schools resumption, again on Monday, July 5 we had another multi stakeholders meeting with him.
“The aim was to fine tune modalities to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols by schools to ensure that returning pupils and students do not contract the virus,” he said.
Igboke appealed to governments at all levels to give bailouts to approved private schools in the country to cushion the economic effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the schools.
“Proprietors and teachers in private schools have been adversely hit by the economic lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have not been able to pay our teachers for four months the lockdown started.
“We need to provide face masks, sanitizers, running water and also make facilities available to enhance social distancing for our pupils and students when they return and we need money for all these.
“We are soliciting for governments’ palliatives; private schools remained the only segment left from benefitting from any form of palliatives and they create employments for our people,” he added.