Lawmakers Urge NUC, Others to Suspend Academic Activities to Allow Students Get PVCs, Vote

* Step down motion to halt penalties placed by WAEC on secondary schools

Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives has called on the relevant authorities in the education sector particularly the National Universities Commission (NUC) to suspend academic activities and give students the opportunity to get their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) and also participate in the general election.

The resolution of the lawmakers was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Kabir Ibrahim at the plenary Thursday.
Moving the motion, Ibrahim stated that the scheduled school examination calendars did not take into consideration the timeline of elections. He stressed that it was the right of students that registered to vote.

He also stated that students constitute up to 40 per cent of newly registered voters in states other than where they school.
He also expressed worry that the students may not be able to collect their voter’s cards as most of their academic calendars were on-going. Also, at plenary, the lawmakers stepped down a motion on the urgent need to halt the incidence of stringent penalties placed by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) on some secondary schools in Ebonyi state.

The sponsor, Hon. Chinedu Ogah, moving the motion stated that WAEC slammed the schools with penalties of up to N500,000 due to some perceived malpractice during examinations.
According to him, the inability of some of the schools to meet up with the penalties made their students not to be able to write the exams and turned to hawking or other criminal vices.

He called on WAEC to immediately halt the penalties, adding that the Council should be investigated to know if the penalties were remitted to the federal government coffers.

Speaking against the motion, Hon. Nkem Abonta was of the view that if the schools erred, then they should be penalised. He said the House cannot be seen to be on the side of schools involved in exam malpractice.

Corroborating him, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Idris Wase reiterated that the House should not be seen to condone malpractices done by some of the schools who connive with officials to cheat in order to get patronage from parents seeking cheap means for their wards to pass the WAEC examinations.

He therefore urged Ogah to step down the motion.

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