The Minister of Education, Prof. Adamu Adamu, has announced that schools across the country will not be allowed to open anytime soon as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. He also stated that final year students will no longer be allowed to resume, contrary to what was declared earlier. He based his decision on the fact that it would be better for Nigerian students to lose an academic year than be exposed to a potentially life-threatening disease.
Recall that the Minister of State on Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, had earlier announced that pupils and students in final year classes in primary and secondary schools would resume on the 4th of August to write their final papers.
Students around the country have groaned bitterly over the decision taken by the federal government and have pleaded with the federal government to reverse their decision on closure of schools across Nigeria.
Majority of the students who spoke with CAMPUS REPORTER stated that the FG is playing with the future of Nigerian Students; despite the fact that the market places have been opened; religious places have started their activities; lifting the ban on interstate travel, and the intention of the government to conduct governorship Election in Edo and Ondo State.
The students explained that the reopening of schools is safer than all the places they have opened, vowing to follow all the guidelines laid down by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease on campus.
Uwesu Taofiq, a 100-Level student of English and Literary Studies at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, showed his grief over the decision made by the federal government and urged the FG to lay down guidelines for reopening of schools and should stop prolonging the graduation date of Nigerian students.
“There are many challenges in which students are facing due to the closure of schools and it’s an indisputable fact that studying at home can’t be compared to that of school,” he asserted.
He, however, advised the FG to provide facilities such as, hand washing facilities, equipment for checking temperature, among others that will be needed for the safe reopening of schools.
Abdul-Azeez Muhammad Ambali, a 300-Level student of Law at the University of Maiduguri, said he is not in support of the decision of the federal government at all. He noted that he does not know why the FG reversed its decision after the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 laid down the guidelines to contain the spread of this pandemic.
“Some places where it easy to get in contact with the virus have been opened for operation such as the operation of the vehicles from one state to another, the activities of the religious centres have begun and even the Ondo and Edo states are eligible to conduct an election without foresight the outcome. So what else again cannot be executed?” he asked.
Abdulrasaq Olayinka, a 300-Level student of Law at the University of Ilorin, regarded losing an academic year as a great loss to Nigerian students, adding that the government doesn’t have education in their agenda.
“Preservation of life should be the first priority of any government. Besides, amongst the ways of preserving the life of citizens is to give them a standard education. Indeed, our educational sector is crying for both human and technology’s succour,” he explained.
Onyilo Micah, a 200-Level student of Political Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, (UDUS), said that the opening of religious places and other open gatherings is not in any way safer than the reopening of schools. He also asserted that forfeiting an academic year would devastate many things.
While speaking with Gemapera Joseph, a 200-Level student of Political Science, (UDUS), he noted that he felt disappointed in the statement uttered by the Minister of Education, Prof. Adamu Adamu, and emphasised that the government does not put the plight of the students at heart.
“A serious government that values the education of her citizens would find it easy to conduct a ‘WAEC’ examinations that comprised less than two million students than the election in two states which will have more than four million participants,” he added:
”This is a high level of insensitivity on the part of the government. If there should be a lockdown, let it cut across all sectors. It is unjustifiable to reopen worship places, market places, lift the ban on interstate travels, and then turned around to close down schools.” he felt dissatisfied.
He, however, urged the federal government to reopen schools and conduct WAEC for final year students, assured FG that the students would comply with the guidelines and protocols to contain the spread of Covid-19.
In an interview with Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ojo, a 100-Level student of Law, (UDUS), said that he is facing a lot of challenges as a result of the closure of schools, confessed that he found it difficult to read and has killed his morale as a student.
“The government should open schools and provide the necessary measures in all schools to prevent students from getting infected with this Covid-19,” he advised.
Sanusi Makama Dalhatu, a 100-Level student of Applied Chemistry, University of Maiduguri, noted that the closure of schools would do more harm than good, adding that it would increase the rapid rate of violence, crime, and rape in our society.
Hammad Soliu, a 200-Level student of English Language, Bayero University, Kano, noted that the closure of schools has blocked his source of income in school and has led to his joblessness during this period of the pandemic.
“Government should just consider reopening of schools because it seems like this COVID-19 has come to stay, it won’t go anytime soon, and that shouldn’t hinder our development as a nation, rather we should know how to live with it, and provide for us some preventions,” he suggested.
Imam Hassan, a 300-Level student of Law at University of Ilorin said: “If the federal government refuses to allow schools to resume, there will be an increase of rape cases, robbery, unwanted pregnancy for underage, hunger, ignorance, hatred, riot in the country.”
Agony Of 2020/2021 WAEC Candidates
The 2020/2021 Candidates for the West African Examination Council, especially those who wrote Jamb and filled awaiting results while registering their Jamb; hoping that WAEC would release their results before the commencement of 2020 admission.
These students have moaned that they would lose this year’s admission; the energy they have invested while preparing for the exam and also lose money they spent on Jamb registration. They would surely lose their admission this year if the federal government refuses to reverse their statement on the cancellation of WAEC.
Akanni Mustakeem who registered his WAEC at Festlad College, expressed his sorrow over the cancellation of WAEC this year, based on the fact that he has registered for 2020 Jamb and filled awaiting the result, hoping that he would make it with his WAEC results.
“I am pleading to the government to do something about the issue of Waec for the benefits of the candidates that wrote Jamb this year and use awaiting results.”
Kamil Kauthar also cried out when he heard that the FG has suspended WAEC this year and she started asking herself different questions that:
“Am I going to write another jamb next year? What is going to happen with the one I have written before? I may not score up to this mark next year,” she groaned.
Abdulrazak Abubakar, a student of Government Day Secondary School, Gulu, Niger state, felt unhappy with the cancellation of WAEC and pleaded with the FG to review their decision on the cancellation of the final year examinations.
“Our potential [has been] dying since the inception of the total lockdown of schools across Nigeria. We have targets and expectations to hit in life. We didn’t come to this world to be wandering and roaming the street,” he said.
Ummu Damaga, a WAEC candidate at Government day secondary school, Gulu, said that if the federal government did not reverse their decision, most of the female students from the northern part of the country would be forced to get married; thereby bury their future ambitions.
”Well, I’m not surprised, when you have a leader who does not value the education of common Nigerian students, expect nothing than frustrations and backwardness,” she cried out.
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