By Temi Ohakwe, Abuja.
A total number of 92,591 candidates sat for the 2019/2020 common Entrance Examination of National Examination Council NECO, on Saturday 17th October, in 639 centres nationwide.
Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, made this known in Abuja while monitoring the entrance examination in the Federal capital Territory.
Adamu who expressed satisfaction in the conduct of examinations commended the compliance of exam centres and candidates to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols adding that the government had noted area of improvement in planning for future exams.
The Minister who noted that the results of the common entrance exams will soon be out so as to make up for the first term , and bridge the gaps in studies created by pandemic induced closure of schools.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry Education, Sonny Echono, disclosed that current carrying capacity of the 104 Federal government colleges is 30,000 , adding that six new colleges were 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 it 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, disclosed that over 280 internal monitors were recruited and were operative nationwide, to monitor the NECO entrance exams.
According to Prof. Obioma, “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, 22 visually impaired candidates also sat for the entrance exams across Nigeria.
The Council stated that it witnessed an upsurge in numbers of candidates who registered for the entrance exams, saying for the 2018/2019 session, 75,000 pupils sat the exams , explaining that the upsurge is due to increase in awareness campaign made across the country by the council .
According to him, “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”
He further disclosed that a five year plan which will empower the council to conduct future exams on Computer based .
NECO has developed a 5year plan which is presently being considered by the board, as soon as the board and the Ministry of Education gives approval , the council intend to deepen the use of I.T for the conduct of it examinations, for the first timein NECO we were able to brief over 3000 supervisors and 5000 invigilators from the comfort of the homes via visual platform.
In the schools monitored in Abuja, Gwarinpa secondary school Centrea A & B, Model Primary School Maitama, Government secondary school Tudunwada , exams started as early 10am .