BY TEMI OHAKWE, ABUJA – A total of 92,591 candidates on Saturday, October 17, 2020 sat for the 2019/2020 National Examination Council (NECO) common Entrance Examination in 639 centres nationwide.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Admu, who announced this in Abuja while monitoring the entrance examination in the Federal capital Territory, expressed satisfaction in the conduct of examinations.
Adamu commended the compliance of examination centres and candidates to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols, adding that the government has also noted area of improvement in planning for future exams.
The Minister said that the results of the common entrance exams will soon be out so as to make up for the first term as well as bridge the gaps in studies created by pandemic induced closure of schools.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Sonny Echono, that the current capacity of the 104 Federal Government Colleges is 30,000, adding that six new colleges have been established to create more access and improve available spaces for intending candidates.
Echono commended the significant improvement in the numbers of registered candidates from Zamfara State which is 1,742 , stating that this is the highest from the state since its creation.
He stated that the state registered only 100 candidates highest in the past but has joined the league of states who registers highest numbers of candidates based on state of origins.
The Registrar of the Council, Professor Godswill Obioma, said that over 280 internal monitors were recruited and operative nationwide, to monitor the NECO entrance exams.
Obioma further said; “26,006 candidates registered for the exams in Lagos state, 9,763 in FCT-Abuja, Anambra 6,440, Imo State 4781, Enugu State 4457,Delta State, 2,929, Niger State, 2766, Oyo State 2,258,Ogun State 2,600, ,Kaduna 1197 candidates”.
Among the candidates are 44,041 male candidates and 48,550 female candidates and 22 visually impaired sat for the entrance exams across the country.
The Council stated that it witnessed an upsurge in numbers of candidates who registered for the entrance exams, adding that for the 2018/2019 session, 75,000 pupils sat for the exams even as it noted that the upsurge is due to increase in awareness campaign.
He further said; “NECO did visibility campaign to reinstate confidence in the populace and state that NECO is now globally competitive with all examination bodies, that is why we recorded the increase in candidates ,we ensured adherence to the guidelines and protocols of COVID-19 as candidates are arranged in about two metres apart , the candidates wore face mask.
“NECO has developed a 5year plan which is presently being considered by the board. As soon as the board and the Ministry of Education give approval, the council intend to deepen the use of I.T for the conduct of it examinations. For the first time in NECO, we are able to brief over 3000 supervisors and 5000 invigilators from the comfort of the homes via visual platform”.
The schools monitored in Abuja where exams started by 10:00am include, Gwarinpa Secondary School, Centre A & B, Model Primary School, Maitama and Government Secondary School Tudun Wada.