NECO LOGOBy Uthman Siraja

National Examinations Council (NECO), has recorded another major breakthrough in the conduct of the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), with over one million candidates who scored credits and above in mathematics and over 800,000 candidates scored credits and above in English.

Addressing Journalists at a news briefing on the release of 2020 SSCE examination results, the Chief Executive and Registrar of NECO, Prof. Godswill Obioma disclosed that a total of 894,101 candidates made five credits and above in English and Mathematics representing 73.89 percent as compared to 2019 June/July SSCE figures of 829,787, stressing that there was an increase of 2.3 percent.

According to the registrar, a total of 1,112,041 candidates made five credits and above irrespective of English language and Mathematics representing 91.91 percent as compared to 2019 June/July SSCE figures of 1,042,989, adding that there is an increase of 2.01 percent.

He stated that number of candidates that were involved in various forms of examination malpractice in 2020 is 33,470 representing 2.61 percent while 40,630 representing 3, 53 percent cases were recorded in 2019.

Prof. Obioma pointed out that the council had a long standing tradition for zero tolerance for malpractice noting that the malpractice incidence in 2020 dropped compared to the figure of 2019.

He attributed the drop to some practices which according to him include the deployment of biometric verification devices, strengthening the examination monitoring strategy in terms of scope and depth insisting that the constitution of external monitors was followed by training in the use of well prepared monitoring manuals.

He explained that 12 schools were derecognised for two years for their involvement in mass cheating while 24 supervisors were black listed for various offences ranging from poor supervision, which included aiding and abetting, connivance with non-candidates to write answer on chalkboard among others.

 He gave the names of the states that were derecognised as four schools in Adamawa, one inTaraba, two in Kaduna, two in Katsina, two in Niger and one in FCT.

He maintained that with the outbreak of Covid-19 in February, 2020, a new norm was introduced in the scheme of things this new Norm he observed “has altered not only our way of life but also affected our schedule of activities. For instance, our 2020 SSCE (1) would have been written from 28th May, 2020 to 10th July, 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the examination was rescheduled to hold from Monday 5thOctober, 2020 to Wednesday 18th November, 2020.

“It  is rather unfortunate to note that barely two weeks into the commencement of the examination, the ENDSARS protest erupted across some states in the country leading to the imposition of curfew and closure of schools by some state governments in order to safe guard lives and property, thus truncating  the process  of examinations once more.

“For the security of personnel and materials, the examinations were suspended nationwide pending when normalcy returned.”

Prof. Obioma disclosed that the council has made a special arrangement for those candidates who missed some papers as a result of ENDSARS protest in those states assuring that the affected candidates will now be allowed to sit for those papers missed during the the forthcoming 2020 SSCE (External), scheduled from Monday 1st February, 2021 to Wednesday 3rd March, 2021.

“The special arrangement will be at no extra cost to these candidates. Upon the release of the 2020 SSCE internal results, those of the affected candidates will be pending for the papers missed and would be subsequently updated after the supplementary examination results are released.”  He added.