No doubt education is the gateway of any nation. Education is the process and platform through which the young leaders of tomorrow are trained and transformed. For any nation to be termed as a great nation, it must give priority to education. Little wonder in every nation, the government of the day includes education in the budget, to help fund the educational system. In Nigeria, there are two basic examinations secondary school students must write before they can be certified as young school leavers, this includes; West African Examination Council (WAEC) And National Examination Council (NECO).
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Unfortunately, for overtime, the National Examination Council (NECO) has been relegated to the background for not being standard. The National Examination Council (NECO) is an examination body in Nigeria that conducts the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination and the General Certificate in Education in June/July and November/December respectively. NECO was created by former military Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar in April 1999.
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The challenge is that since the creation of NECO, for over 3 decades it has failed to meet international standards, due to the way it is been operated. Today, many people no longer value NECO like the way they Value the West African Examination Council (WAEC). Many have complained of the poor standard of operation by NECO, many have also alleged that the system is characterized by series of leakages and examination malpractice, poor use of Information Communication Technology (ICT), and insincere staff among others.
Just recently, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Prof Wushishi to be the new registrar of NECO. First of all, I congratulate him for his new appointment, but there are certain things I would wish the new NECO registrar can do or further enhance to make NECO more better and have international recognition like WAEC:
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1. CURB EXAM LEAKAGE
First and foremost, I would like the new registrar to ensure that he curb the issue of exam leakage. It has become a norm or tradition that few days to the commencement of the exams, the exam questions are already flying all over. How these exam questions leak baffles me a lot. To make NECO regain its value, Prof Wushishi should ensure that exam questions are safeguarded properly before the commencement of exams.
2. TACKLE EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE
Secondly, the issue of examination malpractice must be nib on the board. Examination malpractice is drastically reducing the quality of the students that are being produced in our various secondary and tertiary institutions of learning. Many have alleged that the rate of malpractice in NECO is high. I think that it would be good if the new NECO registrar ensures that he tackles the issue of examination malpractice.
3. IMPROVE ON THE USE OF ICT
The use of ICT cannot be overlooked. ICT has changed the way examinations are being conducted. I think that the new NECO registrar should ensure that he employs the use of ICT to make the system more better and effective.
4. EMPLOY SINCERE STAFF
Prof Wushishi should ensure that credible, honest, and sincere staff should be employed to make the NECO transparent and reliable. Some staff could be responsible for leaking out exam questions before the due date because of financial gain. But once we have sincere staffs, corruption in the agency would be nib at the board
5. PROSECUTE OFFENDERS
Lastly, students and staff members caught involving in examination malpractice should be dealt with severely to serve as a deterrent to others.
I think that if Prof Wushishi the new NECO registrar can do these five things stated above, NECO would regain its value and will also be Internationally recognized as a reliable, transparent, and effective platform to certify students. Feel free to share your thoughts on this.
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