By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Abuja – The National Examinations Council (NECO) has called on the Federal Government to formulate policies aimed at promoting discipline and honesty among teachers, school administrators and students.
The acting Registrar of the council, Mr Abubakar Gana, made this known in a brief submitted to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu in Abuja on Tuesday.
The brief was on the mandate and achievements of the Council between May 2018 and September.
Gana further appealed to the government to prioritise security of examinations just as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is provided security during elections.
He said the appeal came as the menace of examination malpractice continued to hunt public examinations across the country, with NECO recording over 40,000 cases in its June/July Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE).
He said the incessant cases of examination malpractices especially impersonation and collusion by supervisors, teachers and school administrators, was a major challenge in the conduct of the exercise.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the council had acquired 8,000 biometric verification machines before the conduct of the 2019 SSCE.
The Registrar said the body required more biometric verification devices to serve its over 16,000 centres to strengthen its efforts toward eliminating identity theft.
“Immediately I resumed, I embarked on critical reforms, which had led to the successful conduct of the 2018 June/July SSCE under compelling circumstances and released the results of the examination within 40 days of completion.”
He further stated that the council abolished the use of scratch cards following the scam that surrounded it, which led to loss of hundreds of millions in revenue.
He added that this subjected all printed 2018 November/December registration cards to activation only after the money for each card must have been credited to the Council’s TSA.
“The Council successfully conducted the 2019 June/July SSCE. A total of 1,163,194 candidates registered for the examination conducted in 16,093 centres in the 36 states and FCT between May 20 and July 12.
“The results were released on Aug. 27 with a total of 829,787 (71.59%) candidates having five Credits and above including English Language and Mathematics.
“A total of 40,630 (3.53%) candidates were involved in various forms of malpractice; 18 Supervisors were blacklisted for poor supervision, aiding, abetting and connivance with candidates to perpetrate examination malpractice.
“Three schools, one each in Katsina, Kebbi and Oyo States were proscribed for two years for their involvement in collusion and mass cheating,” he said.
Gana also said that NECO had successfully developed and integrated the 2019 November/December SSCE registration software on its new website.
He said the regular registration for the examination has effectively taken off on Aug. 19 and scheduled to end on Oct. 28.
He added that the council had also successfully implemented the Federal Government’s downward review of NECO Examination Fees regime as follows: NCEE (N2,500), BECE (N4,000) and SSCE (N9,850).
He said the implementation was carried out in the registration of all NECO examinations this year.
Gana said in spite of several achievements recorded during his tenure, that there were other challenges that were unresolved.
“This challenges include lack of reading and adherence to guidelines, deliberate failure of school administrators to comply with laid down rules and regulations among others.
“Dishonesty among some Principals and Proprietors of schools by providing falsified documents of their schools in order to secure accreditation and increasing cost of logistics in the conduct of examinations due to inflation.’’