Parents of final year secondary school students have started demanding a refund of the fees paid for their children’s West African Senior Secondary School Examination (WASSCE), conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO), private school owners have said.
The Federal Government had withdrawn students in all 104 unity schools nationwide from writing the examination slated for August 3, 2020. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced schools to remain shut across the country.
The school owners, under the aegis of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), gave this hint at a virtual press conference in Lagos, on Monday.
Yomi Otubela, National President of the association, said parents plan to use the money, which he said has already been remitted to the examination bodies, to pay for similar examinations in neighbouring countries. He urged the government to reverse its stance on the WASSCE by allowing schools to reopen.
He said the cancellation of the exams, which will hold in other countries, is bad for Nigeria’s image, adding that it may cause the students to lose interest in education altogether and embrace social vices.
He said since the closure of schools, private schools had been preparing towards resumption by providing the required safety equipment such as running water and soap for hand-washing, Infra-red thermometers, sick-bay and alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
He said in addition to that, students in terminal classes are fewer and would, therefore, be easily monitored and controlled as regards the social distancing and the adherence to other safety guidelines.
Otubela however commended the government for releasing N2.3 trillion to support the payment of teachers’ salaries. He said they are waiting for the release of the money and the execution of the N50 billion intervention loan promised by the Central Bank of Nigeria.