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Cancellation of WASSCE will truncate future of Nigerian children – Reps

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The House of Representatives on Friday said the cancellation of the West African Senior Secondary School Examinations [WASSCE] will truncate the future of Nigerian children.

WuzupNigeria reports that the examination, administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and held yearly in May, was postponed indefinitely in April after schools were shut down across the country in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, announced during a media briefing on July 6 that the examination will now take place between August 4 and September 5.

But the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Wednesday 8 July 2020 at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari cancelled examination, saying he would prefer that “Nigerian students lose an academic year than to expose them to dangers” of COVID-19.

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He added that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) cannot determine the resumption date of schools for Nigeria.

But the Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education, Prof Julius Ihonbvare, who made the position of the House known in a statement in Abuja said the announcement by the minister was done without due consultation with relevant stakeholders in the education sector.

He said the Education Minister did not inform the country if his decision was in agreement with other West African leaders or in consultation with the examination bodies, the state governments and other stakeholders in the education sector.

He said:

“The minister also did not also inform the public, if the decision was the outcome of a meeting with all state governments that are in charge of all, but the unity secondary schools that are owned by the federal government.

“The Minister of State, in his usually consultative and participatory approach, had briefed the nation at the COVID 19 Presidential Committee briefing over the airwaves and in an appearance before the House Committee on Basic Education where he assured Nigerians that all steps had or were being taken to ensure full compliance with all COVID 19 protocols.

“This sudden policy reversal is not good for the country. It is bound to create further confusion in the education sector, create disappointment and suspicion among parents, frustrate the students and show to our development partners and Nigerians that the distortions and disarticulations in the sector are only getting worse.

“The reversal also shows that our policymakers may just be adopting a laid-back approach to the need to confront the novel coronavirus rather than taking proactive and creative steps to manage and contain it.

“The House Committee disagrees with the minister and believes that a reconsideration is urgently needed to save our educational system on the following grounds that Nigeria is not the only country expected to write the examination in the midst of Covid-19.

“Nigeria should insist that the examination be based exclusively on the already covered syllabus of schools; the Federal Ministry should not chicken out of its responsibilities but take charge, provide policy direction, engage the states and other stakeholders, while the WAEC should quadruple its invigilators and use all classrooms and event centres to conduct the examination and comply with Covid-19 protocols.”

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JUST IN: Lagos LG boss dies of COVID-19

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The Chairman of Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Oke, has died from  COVID-19 complications.

Before his death, Oke was spending his second term as the council chairman and was a strong member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Babatunde Oke died early Wednesday, 12 August 2020 from complications arising from Coronavirus Infection.

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Sources said that Oke, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been sick for some time but recovered, only for the sickness to relapsed late last week due to the stress he went through during the last Sallah break where he was reported to have exposed himself again.

According to a post on his Facebook page, Oke died today at St. Nicholas Hospital on Lagos Island, where he was moved when his illness became critical.

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He did a lot of awareness on COVID-19 in the council during his lifetime, according to residents in the council.

He was the second council boss to die of COVID-19.

In June, Augustine Adeoye Arogundade, chairman of Agbado/Oke-Odo LCDA also succumbed to COVID-19.

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Covid-19: Kwara discharges 89 patients, confirms 17 new cases, 20 deaths

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The Kwara State government has discharged 89 coronavirus patients from its isolation centre in Ilorin.

The state Covid-19 technical committee in its latest update released in Ilorin on Tuesday also announced 17 new confirmed cases of the virus.

Death toll from the virus has increased from 19 to 20, according to the update by the spokesman of the committee, Rafiu Ajakaye.

Similarly, the total confirmed cases has risen to 882, while active cases is now put at 257.

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Six hundred and five patients have so far been discharged.

Total tests done now stands at 3872, while 2971 returned negative.

The update further added that only 19 pending tests are being awaited.

Recall that the infectious disease has spread to 10 of the 16 local government council areas of the state despite efforts by the state government to curtail the community transmission of the virus.

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Meanwhile, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, on Tuesday, commended efforts of the private sector for its strategic role in Nigeria’s campaign against Covid-19 pandemic.

He noted the efforts to include setting up of isolation centres, medical support to various states and recent donation of food palliative to vulnerable households across Nigeria.

He spoke in Ilorin, at the flag-off of the distribution of food palliative donated by the private sector-led Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID) and the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) to Kwara state.

“We are very appreciative of the efforts by CACOVID in the fight against Covid-19. This is not the first.

“They were with us at the isolation centre where they made donations of medical supplies and other things.

“The food palliative is another move. We are really grateful for their interventions to governments across the country,” the governor stated.

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Nigeria records 423 new Covid-19 cases, toll now 47,290

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday night, announced 423 new confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The new cases were reported from 22 states: Lagos (117), FCT (40), Ondo (35), Rivers (28), Osun (24), Benue (21), Abia (19), Ogun (19), Ebonyi (18), Delta (17), Kwara (17), Kaduna (15), Anambra (14), Ekiti (11), Kano (9), Imo (6), Gombe (4), Oyo (3), Taraba (3), Bauchi (1), Edo (1) and Nasarawa (1).

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It brought the total in the country to 47,290.

Out of that number, 33,609 patients have been discharged and 956 deaths have been recorded.

Lagos still has the highest number of cases with 16,074, while Kogi has reported only five.

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by another four weeks.

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