Effort to impede the spread of the corona virus pandemic through non medical interventions and preventive measures such as social distancing and self isolation, prompted the temporary closure of the educational institution in over 100 countries including Nigeria. According to the UNICEF, about 98.5% of the world's student population have been affected by the closure of schools in response to the pandemic.
In West Africa, the West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) have been suspended across West African countries due to the threat of the corona virus. In East Africa, all national examinations earlier scheduled to begin on the 4th of May 2020 have been postponed. So it is for south Africa, as examinations schedule to have begun on the 26th of march were also postponed.
In Nigeria, the Federal government announced that Federal Government owned schools would not be participating in the 2020 West African Examination Council and the National Examinations Council (NECO) due to the COVID-19 pandemic indefinitely, as the government had no intention of endangering the lives of students in the country.
However there has been a new development in Nigeria. The Nigerian government has set the 5th of September as a date for students writing examinations across the country to resume back to their various schools. Students are no doubt elated at the new development as they have all been eager to go back to schools and continue with their education.
However, if we can recall, this isn't the first time the federal government has set a date for school resumption, and each time a date was set, everyone was excited and failed to question the feasibility of schools reopening on the said date. In the end the federal government went back on it's words due to varying circumstances. How then are we so sure that the same thing would not repeat itself?
Nigeria is right now in a place where decision making is subjective to the opinion of not just the law makers and the president, but the citizens at large. And there are people who do not want the schools open for the obvious reasons, safety of the lives of students and teachers. With confirmed cases of Covid-19 skyrocketing everyday, nobody is sure whether reopening of schools is the right move at this time.
I therefore advise that all student stay optimistic, but think critically about the situation before getting too excited and carried away, as this might only be another distraction. At the same time, i advise them keep their fingers crossed.