By Joseph Erunke – Abuja
Over 92,000 candidates, Saturday wrote the 2019/2020 Common Entrance Examination of National Examination Council NECO, for admission into unity schools.
Mallam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, who disclosed this to newsmen when he led top officials of both the ministry and NECO on monitoring of the examination, said a total of
92,591 candidates participated in the examination that took place in 639 centres in the country.
The minister expressed satisfaction in the conduct of examinations just as he said he was happy over the compliance of the examination centres and candidates to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.
According to him, the federal government had taken note of areas of improvement in planning for future examinations.
Adamu assured that the results of the common entrance examination will soon be released for commencement of the first term, saying such development would bridge the gaps in studies created by pandemic following the closure of schools.
Also speaking, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry Education, Arch. Sonny Echono said the current carrying capacity of the 104 federal government colleges is 30,000.
Echono said the government had established six new colleges towards providing access as well as enhancing available spaces for intending candidates.
Echono commended the significant improvement in the number 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 the highest numbers of candidates based on the state of origins.
Also speaking, 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.
Obioma 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, 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 an 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”