The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says its 2021 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates, earlier scheduled for May/June, may not hold due to the effect of COVID-19.
The Council’s Head of National Office (HNO), Patrick Areghan, gave the hint while announcing the release of results of the 2021 first series of the WASSCE for private candidates on Tuesday in Lagos.
Mr Areghan said the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is still much felt in the education sector.
He noted that the entire education calendar has been distorted and, therefore, may not be possible to conduct the examination as scheduled.
“Let me use this opportunity to disperse (dispel) rumours, being peddled about by some people regarding the conduct of the WASSCE for school candidates, 2021.
“The effect of the COVID-19 is still very much felt in the education sector and this has taken its toll on the academic calendar in the country.
“It is, therefore, not going to be possible to have the examination in May/June this year.
“A convenient international time table for the conduct of this examination will soon be released.
“To this effect, all stakeholders are, therefore, requested to keep their fingers crossed until they hear directly from WAEC,’’ the WAEC boss said.
FEC Approves N532m For UI Library Extension
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N532 million for the construction and furnishing of the University of Ibadan library extension.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, briefed State House correspondents after the virtual FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“The Minister of Education also presented a memo for the award of contract for the construction and furnishing of the extension of the University of Ibadan library.
“The memo, which was approved, is at the cost of N532 million with a completion period of 48 weeks,’’ the minister said.
Mohammed hinted that the memo was well received because of the need to extend the library facility in the university.
He said that for many years, the library had needed real extension, given the surge in the students’ population.
According to him, the extension project will comprise two suspended floors, two online reading areas and three cubicles,
It will also include one physically challenged reading area, four seminar rooms and one reprographic unit.
Other facilities are six staff offices, one control room, a general room, stores, four e-libraries, a coffee room, a technical service room, a media unit room, one galaxy/exhibition room and a journal publication unit, in addition to two reading areas.
“The contract was awarded to the UYK Nigeria limited and it is to be delivered in 48 weeks,’’ Mohammed said.
Polytechnics Remain Shut as FG, ASUP’s Hits Wall
ASUP had declared an indefinite strike last Tuesday over alleged poor funding and neglect of the institutions.
However, the union has kicked against the appointment of principal officers for the six new federal polytechnics.
When THISDAY sought for an update on the ongoing strike, the President of ASUP, Mr. Anderson Ezeibe, said the union had not been invited for negotiations by the federal government.
He said since the last meeting they held on Tuesday with the Federal Ministry of Education, which yielded no positive outcome, the union had not been invited for talks again.
“You know we held a meeting with the Federal Ministry of Education last Tuesday but since that time, all we have been hearing was that there will be meeting but we are yet to get an invitation,” he added.
Also, it was gathered from a source at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment that the ministry can only wade into the matter if the Ministry of Education refers the issue to it for conciliation.
However, the dispute has deepened as ASUP has kicked against the appointments of rectors and other principal officers for the six new federal polytechnics, saying it did not meet the required standards.
In a statement by Ezeibe, the union said: “Our union’s attention has been drawn to a recent press statement from the Federal Ministry of Education announcing the appointment of rectors and other principal officers for the six new federal polytechnics situated in Enugu, Oyo, Cross River, Plateau, Borno and Benue states.”
The union stated that the appointments violated provisions of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act, 2019, adding that five out of the six new rectors were not qualified for the position having fallen short of the requirements captured in Section 8, 2 (a) (i )of the Act.
Ezeibe said the profiles of the appointees showed that five out of the six persons did not fit into the requirements of the law for the appointment of rectors in federal polytechnics.
According to him, these beneficiaries include the appointees for federal polytechnics Ohodo (Enugu), Ugep (Cross River), Shendam (Plateau), Monguno (Borno), and Wannune (Benue) .
“It is regrettable that the government, through officials of the Federal Ministry of Education has become principal violators of the laws governing the operations of Nigerian polytechnics.
“This latest assault is despite the contents of a recent ruling of the National Industrial Court in Abuja where the provisions of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act, 2019 was affirmed by the court and the Federal Ministry of Education and her officials undertaking to observe the provisions in totality.
“Despite the contents of the judgment of the court in NICN/ABJ/12/2020 involving our union and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Minister for Education and five others in a similar issue, our union had drawn the attention of the Federal Ministry of Education on the need to adhere to the provisions of the law in this appointment process more than a month before this recent naked display of impunity,” he added.
Ezeibe said part of the union’s current engagement with the government was to reverse the trend of administering polytechnics outside extant laws and regulations.
2021 WASSCE To Hold August/ September
The West African Examinations Council, Nigeria, says the 2021 West African Senior School Certificate Examination will commence in August and not May.
WAEC also debunked reports by some news platforms that it postponed the examination.
In a statement on Friday, Acting Head, Public Affairs, WAEC, Nigeria, Demianus Ojijeogu, said WAEC Nigeria Head, Patrick Areghan, was quoted out of context at a briefing on Tuesday when he announced the release of results of WASSCE for private candidate
According to Ojijeogu, Areghan said the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic has distorted the academic calendars of schools, hence, it will be impossible for candidates to sit for the examination in May because most of the schools are still in their first term
The statement was titled, ‘Conduct Of WASSCE For School Candidates, 2021 In Nigeria’.
The statement said Areghan had at the Tuesday briefing said, “Let me also use this opportunity to dispel rumours being peddled about by some people regarding the conduct of WASSCE for School Candidates, 2021. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still very much felt in the education sector
“The academic calendar has been distorted. It will, therefore, not be possible to have the examination in May/June this year. A convenient International Timetable for the conduct of the examination will soon be released.”
The statement added, “The arrangement is in line with the current academic calendar and was done in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education
“Consequently, the Council wishes to inform schools, candidates and the general public that the examination will hold from August 16, 2021 to September 30, 2021. The International timetable for the conduct of the examination will be released in due course.”
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