State Minister of Education Emeka Nwajiuba said that, contrary to reports that the Federal Government is planning to reopen schools, it is only planning that students in the outgoing classes take exams.
Nwajiuba said this on Wednesday, during an interview on Politics Today on Channels TV.
According to him, despite the closure of schools as a result of COVID-19, the exams are critical to students' academic progress.
He therefore stated that the ministry raised its concerns to the Presidential Task Force at COVID-19 and that plans are only being made for those who choose to take these exams.
“We presented to the PTF and, by extension, to the Federal Government, the plans of the exam bodies to carry out their exams. Tests are critical to children's progress.
“We examined it and felt that it is important to allow these exams to take place, but before they do take place, it is important that children who have not had the opportunity to review their curricula have the opportunity to go through this. and take a review class before exams.
“Most of the people who can afford it are already saying that they want to stay home and take the exams at home, this is fantastic.
“But we understand the limitations of the average Nigerian, because not everyone can buy laptops and devices, and therefore, if there are people who have that access and feel confident that their children are ready for exams, well, we are not forcing anyone to go to any school.
"What we did was make our school facilities available," he said.
"You all know that education is on the simultaneous legislative list and we ask the state governments that own these schools to provide places to wash their hands, constantly check the temperature of children, who have disinfectants. Private schools should be able to provide this.
"It's not really a compulsion, we're just making facilities available for those who want to take the exams."
In May, the minister had said that the federal government was not ready to take the risk of reopening schools.
“Until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not take home this COVID material and infect people who are more susceptible to the disease than they are, then we are at enormous risk and God forbid that, in our haste, something happens to our children, I'm not sure how anyone will be able to recover what would have been lost.
“So we are not yet taking that risk. We will prepare ourselves as much as possible, according to the guidelines they (health authorities) offer us, working together with the World Health Organization before we reopen schools ”.