Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
Over 92,591 candidates sat for the 2020 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO), in 639 centers across the country.
However, only 30,000 candidates may be offered admission, due to the constraints of limited carrying capacity of the 104 Federal Government Colleges.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu , during a monitoring exercise of the examination in commended the compliance of the centers and candidates to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols, as well the smooth conduct of the process.
Adamu promised that the results would be ready as soon as possible.
On the regularization of academic calendar caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Adamu noted that Federal Government Colleges would resume for new academic calendar in 2022 after completing the 2019/2020 session in December.
” The exam is very good, they have done the protocol of COVID-19 as is it expected and I think the spacing is alright and they started on time.
“The results will come out as quickly as possible. Everything is digitalized.
” They are going to finish their third term and then the new calendar can start next year so for Federal Government Colleges, when the examination is through you will get to know the date,’’ he said.
Some of the schools monitored included, Government Secondary School, Wuse Zone 3, Government Day Secondary School, Maitama, and Model Secondary School, Maitama, Abuja.
Mr Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, called on other states that were yet to do well to improve more as the carrying capacity had been increased to 30,000.
According to him, I am impressed that the standards are rising. I call on everyone to do the right thing to expand the schools.
” The examination is going round 639 centers across the country. We have witnessed a significant increase in number.
” First we are grateful to Mr President for the modest investment in technology to provide basic infrastructure to make our schools secure and to make sure that proper teaching and learning can take place in those schools.
” This year we have more than 92,000 applicants for this examinations which jumped from between 72,000 and 75,000 we have had concurrently for three years.
” But also very significant and important to mention is that for the past two years I had the pain of complaining that I even followed it with visit to one of the states that used to be the least in terms of participation in our examination and that is Zamfara state.
” But I am very pleased to announce today and this demonstrates what political will means. Zamfara that used to be number 37 which is the absolute last in the last two years, this year had moved to number 14 and more significantly has the highest number of applicants from the northern states of the country.”
Echono, therefore, said that government had approved for three years to have 16 technical schools that would boost technical education in the country while also calling for improved mechanism within the schools.
Speaking on the improvement made in the conduct of the examination, the Registrar of NECO, Prof Godswill Obioma, stated that over 280 internal monitors were recruited to monitor the entrance exams in the country.
While giving the statistics of candidates that registered for the examination, he revealed that 26,006 candidates registered for the exams in Lagos State, 9763 in FCT, 6440 in Anambra State, 4781 in Imo State.
He added that 4457 candidates registered in Enugu State, 2929 in Delta State, 2766 in Niger State, 2258 in Oyo State, 2600 in Ogun State and 1197 in Kaduna 1197.
The Registrar also added that 44,041 candidates were male and 48,550 were female while 22 visually impaired candidates also sat for the entrance exams.
“NECO did a visibility campaign to reinstate confidence in the populace and state that NECO is now globally competitive with all examination bodies, which is why we recorded the increase in candidates,” he said.
He added that a five-year plan is being put in place to ensure that the examination is made a Computer based exams.
“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 time in NECO. We were able to brief over 3000 supervisors and 5000 invigilators from the comfort of the homes via visual platform,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Abubakar Sadiqque, Chairman, Governing Council, NECO, said that the council had deployed modern technology that would fast track the release of results.
He also said that the council reduced examination fees to allow Nigerians have more registration in the examination.