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See Why over 300,000 South East Students May Not Write WASSCE Mathematics Exam

See Why over 300,000 South East Students May Not Write WASSCE Mathematics Exam

A whopping 300,00 students in the South East may not write General Mathematics in the ongoing May/June 2024 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) schedule for May 30, 2024, over sit-at-home declared by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The IPOB last week asked the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) not to conduct the General Mathematics examination on May 30, 2024, as it would celebrate “Biafra Day” on that day.

According to IPOB, there will be sit-at-home in the whole South East, with restriction of movement, both vehicular and pedestrian.

The pro-Biafra group threatened that the security of students would not be guaranteed on May 30, stating that WAEC would be held responsible if it goes ahead with the examination and anything happens to the students.

Since Mathematics is a compulsory subject, like English Language, the non-holding of the examination over the sit-at-home will jeopardise the education of all 300,000 students in South East

Daily Sun gathered that WAEC is not contemplating postponing the examination, prompting it to write to the Federal Ministry of Education, governors of the five South East states and the Inspector-General of Police on the threat to disrupt the ongoing May/June 2024 school certificate exams.

WAEC asked for assurances of the governors to ensure a hitch-free WASSCE.

Head of National Office (HNO) of WAEC, Dr. Amos Dangut, said: “The council cannot feign ignorance of the level of insecurity in the country. Conducting exams has been challenging. Instances of insecurity exist in many places across the country.

“Conducting examinations in insecurity-prone areas would require extra security arrangements. The council appreciates the continued support received from the Nigeria Police as partners in actualising its goals during the conduct of its examinations.”

Meanwhile, the Abia State Government has appealed for understanding from all, including the leadership of IPOB, sounding out clearly the implication of not allowing secondary school students from the state to take General Mathematics being conducted by WAEC on May 30.

Although the Commissioner for Education could not be reached, a very senior official of the ministry who spoke under the cover of anonymity said: “The directive of IPOB, if carried out, will do the affected students and the South East as a whole more harm than good.

“Preventing the students from writing the exam, which is an international examination that cannot be retaken on a later date by the students, will prevent them from gaining admission into higher institutions.

“Although government has not officially met with leaders of the IPOB, it is appealing to them through this medium to reconsider their earlier order for the interest of the innocent students.”

Okiyi, a trader in Umuahia said: “WAEC cannot because of the directive cancel or shift the exam date.”

Another parent, Kalu Okoro said: “Inasmuch as nobody is against their sit-at-home, they should not do things that will put the future of our children in jeopardy. If the IPOB succeeds in preventing our children from taking their exams, let it be known to them that they would have succeeded in jeopardising the future of our children. IPOB should tread with caution to avoid the mistakes of the past.”

Younger brother of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, Emmanuel, said: “The directive is part of long drawn out strategy adopted by the pro-Biafra group to achieve its aim. Onyendu (Nnamdi Kanu) is a kind-hearted leader, I think he will likely give counter-directive.”

He promised to reach out to the IPOB leader for a solution.

Ebonyi State Government, on its part, has promised that adequate measures would be taken to ensure that students write their exams without security breaches, insisting that the examination would hold. Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jude Okpor, told Daily Sun: “You and I know that WASSCE is going on in the state without any hindrance. May 30 would not be an exception.”

Monday Eze, president, Nigeria Parents’ Forum, said: “This is a security issue. We don’t talk about security issues anyhow. But the lives of our children are very important to us.

“Instead of our childrens’ lives to be wasted, WAEC can shift the day for the General Mathematics and schedule it for another day, if governors of the South East can’t provide adequate security in the schools that day.

“IPOB should reconsider its threats and allow the WASSCE to hold that day in Igboland in the interest of the children who are innocent future leaders.”

Commissioner for Education, Anambra State, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Ude, said: “The resolution to some of these problems lie with you, the members of the fourth estate of the realm. Some of the prominence given to wrong things have been the reason for this crisis.

When you spread these bad things, you make the society worse.

“If a child doesn’t know that they were asked not to come out, he won’t fear and he will come out and take his or her exam. He will not bother. It is the media in their usual way that spread the news and instill fear in the people.

“WASSCis a national or even international examination and it is taking place in West Africa countries same day. Students are going to sit for the exams. There is active timetable and it’s a West Africa exam, it’s not a Nigeria thing or Anambra State alone. So, the children should focus on the timetable and the exams and not on fallacy. If WAEC says no exam, then it is okay, but it’s not a state issue.”

Dr. Sunday Ajali, a parent said: “My daughter is at the Federal Government Girls College, Onitsha. She is sitting for the examination. Nothing should stop it because it’s Mathematics and it’s not an ordinary subject. Without Mathematics, you can’t gain admission into any tertiary institution in the country. So, we ask that IPOB should allow our children to sit for WASSCE.”

Mr. Solomon Gwiyi, a parent, said: “The directive is misplaced and should be condemned in its entirety. It is anti-Igbo. It is inhuman. It is insensitive in all aspects of reasoning. As an agitator who wants freedom and a better environment for the promotion of justice and fairness for his people, shouldn’t jeopardise their future.

“If IPOB goes out to stop the same people they are fighting for from participating in an international examination that will serve as a catalyst and stepping stone for their greatness, their agitation makes no sense. What then are you agitating for? I think there is a need for proper reasoning in this direction.

“The implications if the student doesn’t write the WASSCE are many. The number one implication of the action is its derailment of the academic pursuits of those candidates. And I sincerely think our people do not deserve such treatment at all.

“It also has economic implications. We all know what it takes to purchase WAEC forms in the current economy. So imagine going back and forth to purchase it all over because the students are stopped from writing General Mathematics. This is unthinkable.

“I am not appealing to IPOB but to all lovers of Igboland, especially those who they respect to prevail on them to allow our young ones to participate in this examination. I call on Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, Senator Patrick Ubah and other notable personalities to as a matter of reason, prevail on them not to carry out their threats against those Innocent students. They don’t deserve such derailment for any reason.”

Mr, Uche Eze, another parent said: “IPOB has no moral justification to order for the stoppage of a regional examination like WAEC. The call is ridiculous. Those behind the call should understand that they are trying to truncate the future of the young ones involved in the examination.

“WAEC is not meant for the South East or Nigeria alone. Even if it is for Nigeria alone, IPOB is not for the generality of the country but a section of it, which is South East. Certainly, if there is any attempt to disrupt the exam in the South East, then it’s the students that will be at the receiving end.

“IPOB should sheath its sword and allow peace to reign. Let the academic future of the young Easterners not be jeopardised.”

Mrs. Oluchukwu Ezea, a parent: “My position is that having known the antics of the IPOB, I will advise WAEC not to hold the said exam that day in the five states if there wouldn’t be adequate security in all the secondary schools that day.

“I am aware of the implications, but there is nothing that does not have a solution. Let them shelve the exam for another day because there is a need to protect life first before education. IPOB, we all know has the tendency to always carry out its threats.

“My appeal to IPOB is that they should reconsider their decision. If our children do not write their exam that day, it is to the detriment of the people of the South East and the effects will be disastrous.”

Daily Sun gathered that candidates in the South East, like their counterparts in other regions, wrote Physics 3 (Practical), Building Construction 3 (Building Drawing and Essay) and History 2 (Essay) as well as History 1 (Objective) on May 30, without hindrance as stipulated in the WAEC timetable for candidates in Nigeria.

However, the IPOB had directed that candidates going for the exams that day must wear their school uniforms.

school proprietor in Ebonyi State who wished not to be named said that there was no apprehension, as IPOB understood the importance of the school exam to the future of Igbo youth.

“We didn’t even have any problem last year. It was a Tuesday. What they did was to announce that any student going for the exam must wear school uniform. Our students wore school uniforms to school. And all the schools that wrote WASSCE participated in Physics, so, we didn’t have any problem. I don’t think that the situation will be different this time around,” he said.

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