As 1.3 million candidates sit for the 2021 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the National Examination Council (NECO), the Federal Government has disclosed that the integrity and credibility of its examinations have been upheld nationwide. Speaking at the end of a monitoring exercise carried out at Government Secondary School, Garki, and Federal Government Boys College, Apo, on Thursday, in Abuja, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, expressed satisfaction with the level of improvement in the conduct of examinations in the country.
Echono noted that the low number of candidates who sit for NECO’s SSCE when compared to the West African Examination Council (WAEC), was due to several reasons which includes, the belief that NECO’s certificate was not recognised and accepted internationally, as well as economic hardship which was hindering some parent’s ability to register their child(ren) for more than one examination per time. The Perm Sec further raised concerns that the huge debt some states which he described as “notorious” were owing NECO, had given rise to the strict measures currently being deployed by the Council.
This, according to him, may have had little impact on the numbers eventually registered to sit for the examination. He said: “Clearly NECO has gotten full grip and hand on the process. We are impressed with the progress recorded across the country. We are also pleased with the measures taken to curtail incidences of examination malpractices.
“On our side , we ensure that we put the people in the right places. The credibility of our exams are ensured, we have improved on the process; integrity and credibility of our exams are upheld across the country. “1.3 million candidates are sitting for this exams nationwide. Last year, we were almost neck to neck with WAEC but for some issues. We have many notorious states. In fact there is a particular state owing over N2billion for many years because state government offer to pay NECO fees for candidates from their states, but when it comes to the actual payment, they don’t do that and that cash trapped NECO.”