By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.
The National Examinations Council, (NECO) Friday announced the release of the school based Senior Schools Certificate Examinations (SSCE), conducted last June /July across the country with Bauchi, Sokoto and Zamfara toping the malpractice list.
Registrar/Chief Executive of the examination body, Professor Charles Uwakwe disclosed that a total of, 1, 027, 016 candidates registered for the NECO examinations from across Nigeria and overseas out of which 1, 022, 474 sat for the examinations in seventy six different subjects.
From these entries, 905, 011, (that is 88.51%) of the entire candidates scored five credits and above in subjects including English and Mathematics.
Candidates from Bauchi, Sokoto and Zamfara states were discovered to have topped the list in the cases of examination malpractices while candidates from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Bayelsa and Ekiti states which also has the least number of candidates that sat for the June/July SSCE recorded less cases in examination malpractices in this year’s examination.
Professor Uwakwe while announcing the release of the June/July SSCE results at the council’s Headquarters in Minna also explained that 43, 905 students were caught for various examinations related offences and 194 schools were found culpable in various forms mass cheating during the examinations.
Professor Uwakwe who was performing his first official function of releasing such results since his appointment few months ago, however expressed grave concern that most students still fall short of expectations in Mathematics and few other core science subjects.
While decrying the development, he noted that for aiding and abating examination malpractices, NECO has delisted some fourteen (14) schools from across the 36 states and the FCT, Abuja from serving as centres for its examinations.
Comparative analysis of performances in the last examination also showed a general improvement and better performances in all subjects in this this year’s examination when compared with last year’s performance. “There has been a slight increase in candidates’ performances”, Uwakwe noted.
“In 2015, we had 87.51% passes of five credits and above in English and Mathematics but in 2016, we have 88.51%, an approximately 1% increase”.
In the just concluded examinations, Kano state had 73, 775 candidates, the highest number of candidates that sat for the examinations, it is followed by Oyo and Lagos states with 56, 472 and 53, 843 respectively while Bayelsa state is the least with just 5, 156.
Ekiti had 9, 368, Ebonyi state had 10, 689 and only 19 candidates were registered from overseas countries for the examinations, according to the Registrar.
The NECO Registrar /Chief Executive stressed that for the period he would serve as the Boss at the examination body, his emphasis would be to fight and eliminate examination malpractices in school based examinations.
He said the ethos of zero tolerance for cheating in examinations would guide his administration’s drive for excellence adding that he intends to pursue this target without compromise just as he implored all the staffers of the examination body to key into the vision of impeccable professionalism, service delivery, punctuality, client satisfaction, good working attitudes, integrity, commitments and zero tolerance for impunity.
Prof. Uwakwe noted that without good attitudes to work, integrity, commitments to excel, zero tolerance for impunity, NECO may loose it’s relevance as a credible examination body nationally and beyond the shores of the country. He commended his predecessors for maintaining internationally recognized standards that have made NECO not just a household name but its certificates acceptable in other countries of the world.
He solicited for the support and cooperation of all stakeholders, including journalists to see NECO as an institution that deserves the attention of all Nigerians to patronize it, support it, care for it and nurture it to enable it attain desired first class international status as envisaged by government and founding fathers.
By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.