FG lauds NECO as 70,608 candidates sit for common entrance exams

FG lauds NECO as 70,608 candidates sit for common entrance exams

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A total of 70,608 candidates on Saturday sat for the 2024 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), nationwide for admission into the 115 Federal Government Colleges, otherwise known as Unity Schools, in which the Federal Government commended the National Examination Council (NECO) over the smooth and orderly conduct of the examination.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, who spoke with newsmen shortly after monitoring the examination in some centres in Abuja, said she was satisfied with measures put in place by NECO to check examination malpractice as well as ensure smooth and seamless exercise.

Walson-Jack was at the Model Secondary School, Maitama and Government Day Secondary School Wuse II, Abuja in the company of the NECO Registrar, Professor Dantani Wushishi and some directors of the Federal Ministry of Education. She was also joined by the Chairman Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary, Senator Lawal Adamu Usman.

The Permanent Secretary said: “We’ve been monitoring the ongoing NECO examination in FCT Abuja. We actually have 55 centers here but we’ve so far monitored about three centres. Generally, I will say that everything is going on smoothly.

“The candidates are sitting for the exams comfortably, there is cooling in the room and there have been no problems so far.

“We are happy with all that NECO has put in place to ensure a smooth and seamless exercise.”

Registrar of NECO, Prof. Dantani Wushishi, on his part, revealed that a total of 70,608 candidates registered to sit the examination which is a requirement for selection of those to be admitted into the Unity Schools.

He noted that there was a decline in the number of candidates who registered for the Common Entrance examination this year when compared to the figure of about 72,000 in 2023 because of economic hardship.

He, however, noted an increase in the number of female candidates compared to last year’s registration.

According to him, in 2023 a total of 72,865 candidates registered for the examination out of which 34,064 are male while 38,801 are female.

In 2024 registration, 33,335 were male while the number of females that registered for the examination stood at
37,268 bringing the number of those who registered to participate in the examination to 70,603 in 599 examination centres.

“We have 33,335 males who registered and 37,000 plus females, we have a total of 70,608 that have registered which is below last year.

“Last year it was about 72,000 plus. So you find that generally for the male and female, last year’s registration was higher than this year’s registration.

“This could be attributed to so many factors, economic factors are the most prevalent factor that may hinder large registration.

“We all know what is happening in the economy and it is affecting everybody. The bulk of the population is in the rural areas and in some states, they don’t sponsor candidates at this level.

It’s the parents who sponsor the candidate, sometimes politicians, sometimes traditional rulers, so you can see why economic factor is the most prevailing factor hindering this registration.”

Wushishi further noted that candidates who were unable to register for the examination before 6 am Saturday, were unable to sit for the examination.

“By six this morning, we had cases where even candidates came ready to register by payment of physical cash and transfer. We say we don’t do that. We have a process, and that process should be followed and that is why we’re encouraging parents to make sure that at least they are abreast with announcements and procedures for registering for these examinations.

“This is a national examination where every child of primary school age is expected to write this examination so that the candidates will fill the state’s quota in these 115 Unity colleges,” he stated.

The NECO boss also informed newsmen that the issue of underage candidates registering for the Common Entrance examination has been addressed and that candidates below the age of 10 years were not allowed to register this year except those who had just two or one month to become 10 years.

Chairman Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary, Senator Lawal Adamu Usman, said he was happy with what he saw, candidates taking the examination in a very conducive environment, saying NECO should be commended for the smooth conduct of the examination.

He, however, called on the management of the Council to see to the upgrade of the Common Entrance examination to Computer-Based Test (CBT).

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