The House of Representatives had approved a bill in the second reading that sought to repeal the National Examination Council (NECO), Act CAP N37, Laws of the Federation, for effective services.
According to Vanguard, The bill specifically aims to abolish NECO and establish the National Examinations Council in order to make the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (Internal) (SSCE) (1), the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), and the National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) mandatory for all Nigerian children, as well as for other related purposes.
The bill's sponsor, Professor Julius Ihonvbere of the Owan federal constituency of Edo State, led the discussion on the broad ideas of the bill at plenary on Thursday. He stated that the change was meant to make NECO more competitive so that it would measure up to international standards.
He claimed that Section 7 of the statute was receiving increasing attention.
"Mr. Speaker, honorable colleagues, the urge to repeal the old Act is an idea borne out of the need to strengthen the National Examination Council to enable it to shoulder the burden of delivering not only standard exams that are competitive in nature but also to meet with the best practice around the world," he said.
"Subsection 7(c) should be changed to read as follows: "the general control and conduct of the National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), which shall be required of all Nigerian students seeking admission into Federal Government Colleges and other related institutions in their final year of primary education;
... each and every Nigerian minor residing outside of Nigeria who wishes to sign up and take the specified exam.
"Alteration of Sections 7 and Subsections (d) and (f) by substituting "Federal Government Academy, Suleja" for "Suleja Academy" and repeating this change anywhere Suleja Academy is mentioned in the Act."
The phrase "Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination" will be changed to "Basic Education Certificate Examination" in Section 7 subsection (g), and the change will be made throughout the entire Act, the explanatory note(s), the schedule thereto, and all other relevant parts.
Amendment to Section 7 subsection (g) in its entirety to read: "the general control and conduct of the Basic Education Certificate Examination, which shall be mandatory for all Nigerian students in the final year of junior secondary school in Federal Government Colleges, Federal Government Academy, Suleja, and all public and private secondary schools in Nigeria; and every Nigerian child resident outside of Nigeria who desires to register and sit for the said examination."
"Amendment of Section 7 sub-section (h) to read: "the general control of the conduct of the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (Internal), which shall be mandatory for all Nigerian students in all Federal Government Colleges, Federal Government Academy, Suleja, and all public and private secondary schools in Nigeria; and every Nigerian child residing outside of Nigeria who desires to register and sit for the said examination."
The phrase "without prejudice to the existing powers and functions of the West Africa Examinations Council" has been completely removed from Section 7 subsection (h) and from every other place it appears in the remaining sections of the Act, the explanatory note(s), the schedule thereto, and all other relevant sections.
"The renumbering of the entire section and subsections and the creation of new sub-subsections in Section 7: After (i), the following new subsections will be added: (j) organize conferences, workshops, symposia, lectures, and seminars on educational assessments and other current issues pertaining to primary and secondary education for interested stakeholders; (k) carry out secondary school accreditation in order to allow them to participate in NECO-conducted examinations; and (j) provide consulting services to Federal and State Ministries as well as other private and public organizations.
"The Council has met a number of difficulties during its operations, which have persisted in impeding her ability to effectively carry out her mandate." Therefore, this amendment will undoubtedly address the issues and aid in maintaining the council's development.
The bill was adopted after receiving the support of the majority of the members via a voice vote.
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