West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) will commence on August 17, 2020.

The examinations have already been postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic [BusinessDay]
The examinations have already been postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic [BusinessDay]

The West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) will commence on August 17, 2020, according to the Nigerian government.

The Ministry of Education announced in a statement on Monday, July 27 that secondary schools in the country are to reopen from August 4 to prepare students in exit classes.

The examination, administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), was first postponed indefinitely in April after it was earlier scheduled to commence in May.

It was postponed after schools were shut down across the country in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

An earlier announcement to restart the examinations on August 4 was subsequently withdrawn after the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, raised concerns about the safety of students with the coronavirus still active in many parts of the country.

The decision was not favourably met by parents and many stakeholders who feared students would be denied a great opportunity to earn their certifications in time.

Monday's statement by the Ministry of Education noted that the new date was decided after a virtual consultative meeting with relevant stakeholders.

"The meeting also resolved that a passionate appeal be made to the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and public-spirited Nigerians for assistance to schools across the country to enable them fast-track the preparations for safe reopening, as agreed," the statement read.

The ministry's spokesperson, Ben Bem Goong, also noted that another meeting will be convened on Tuesday, July 28 with the chief executives of other examination bodies to harmonise their examination dates.

The bodies listed are the National Examination Council (NECO), the National Business Technical and Examination Board (NABTEB), and the National Board For Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS).