Report: The disrupting influence of coronavirus pandemic on WASSCE -


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Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Report: The disrupting influence of coronavirus pandemic on WASSCE


Before 2020’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) was finally allowed to commence on August 17, it was postponed twice.

The annual exam, usually conducted between May and June, was first postponed when Nigeria shut down schools in March to combat the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The rapid spread of the disease was also felt in other West African countries where the West African Examination Council (WAEC) conducts examinations every year.

March’s postponement put the future of over 1.5 million registered candidates on hold as the world battled with a novel disease that has now infected over 27 million people and killed nearly 900,000 globally.

Candidates that would usually spend weeks inside classrooms being rigorously prepared for an examination crucial to their academic future were suddenly forced into a peculiar situation that wasn’t particularly ideal.

The longer restrictions remained in place, the louder agitations grew for students to be allowed to sit for their final year examinations with safety measures implemented to prevent a devastating spread of COVID-19.

These agitations resulted in an announcement early in July that examinations would commence on August 4, but this was later suspended after Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, raised concerns about the safety of students.

A series of conversations among stakeholders eventually led to an agreement in late July that the exam be allowed to commence on August 17, with students given only two weeks to be prepared by their teachers inside classrooms.

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