The year’s West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASCE) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) have been postponed indefinitely.

The shift, announced yesterday by the Federal Government, was attributed to the outbreak and prevailing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Announcing the postponement at the daily briefing by members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Control in Abuja, Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said both examinations were scheduled for May and June.

Nwajiuba said also that 15 states had commenced electronic learning for pupils on their local television stations and radio channels following the stay-at-home orders of the federal and several state governments.

The minister appealed to parents to cooperate with the government to ensure that their children were made available to learn at the designated hours and channels.

The minister said the government was looking at what to do for schools to reopen even as he maintained that nobody can reopen schools until all efforts have been coordinated by the government.

He said: “We have announced that WAEC and NECO for the year have been postponed. This postponement is indefinite at the moment. We will also be looking at what we will do for schools to reopen. As you recall, we asked that schools be vacated in the last part of March 2020 as soon as this pandemic broke out.

“The lockdown in various parts of the country will definitely affect whether students and teachers come to school or not. So, nobody can reopen schools until we have coordinated all efforts. We are also asking parents to help us.

“We have made provisions online. The Directorate of Information and Communication Technology in conjunction with the Universal Basic Education Commission, the coordinating agency, will anchor an alliance with State Universal Basic Education Boards in all the states so that they can key into our design.

“About 15 states have already commenced learning via different channels that are available in their states, mostly local TV and radio. All the programmes they are running are approved by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Commission.

“Some of those states are Anambra, Lagos, Kaduna, Ondo, Edo, and Ogun. There are different education programmes at different times.”

The minister identified reaching pupils in rural communities without devices to learn as the biggest challenge to the government.

“Our biggest challenge is how to reach children who do not have devices. We’re working with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) to install some of that for primary and secondary school students,” Nwajiuba added.

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