The National Examinations Council (NECO) has urged the Federal Government to formulate policies that will promote discipline and honesty among teachers, school administrators and students.
Its Acting Registrar, Mr Abubakar Gana, announced this on Tuesday in Abuja in a brief submitted to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
The brief was on the mandate and achievements of the council between May 2018 and last month (September).
Gana also appealed to the government to prioritise security of examinations, just as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is provided security during elections.
The acting Registrar said the appeal came as 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 examinations.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the council had acquired 8,000 biometric verification machines before the conduct of this year’s Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (SSCE).
The acting 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 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,” Gana said.
He added 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.
According to him, 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 the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) between May 20 and July 12.
“The results were released on Aug. 27 with a total of 829,787 (71.59 per cent) candidates having five Credits and above, including English Language and Mathematics.
“A total of 40,630 (3.53 per cent) 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 NECO successfully developed and integrated the 2019 November/December Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) registration software on its new website.
The acting Registrar said the regular registration for the examination effectively took off on August 19 and scheduled to end on October 28.
He added that the council 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).
According to him, the implementation was carried out in the registration of all NECO examinations this year.
Gana explained that despite several achievements recorded during his tenure, some challenges were unresolved.
“These 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, who provided falsified documents of their schools in order to secure accreditation and increasing cost of logistics in the conduct of examinations due to inflation,” Gana said.