WAEC Ensures Exams Continue Despite Looming Workers’ Strike

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The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has confirmed that the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) will proceed as planned, despite an impending indefinite strike by Nigeria’s major labour unions.

 

In a memo sent to school principals participating in the 2024 WASSCE, WAEC emphasised that the exams will not be affected by the strike, which is set to begin on 3 June 2024. The memo was signed by T A Lawson, the Ekiti Branch Controller for WAEC National Office.

 

WAEC acknowledged the concerns raised by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) but stressed the importance of ensuring Nigerian students do not miss their exams. The exams are being conducted simultaneously in all WAEC member countries.

 

The examination body urged school principals, supervisors, parents, and the general public to make necessary arrangements for students to attend their exams. This appeal highlights WAEC’s commitment to the educational future of Nigerian children.

 

WAEC also addressed claims that it was challenging the labour unions, clarifying that it is only appealing for understanding. WAEC spokeswoman, Mrs Motorola Adesina, reiterated that the council respects the unions but is focused on the students’ best interests.

 

The strike, organised by the NLC and TUC, aims to pressure the government into agreeing to a new minimum wage and revising the recent increase in electricity prices. The unions have instructed their affiliates to mobilise for a total, indefinite strike starting from 3 June.

 

This industrial action is expected to disrupt various sectors, including schools, hospitals, and airports, potentially leading to power outages, fuel shortages, and transportation issues across Nigeria.

 

The unions and the government are at an impasse over the new minimum wage. The NLC initially demanded N600,000 but later reduced the request to N494,000, which the government rejected, citing economic instability concerns. The government has countered with an offer of N60,000, which the unions have deemed insufficient.

 

The NLC and TUC’s decision to strike follows failed negotiations and reflects growing discontent over the economic situation in Nigeria. The unions argue that the current N30,000 minimum wage, in place since 2019, is no longer adequate.

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