By Florence Ugbem
Governor Samuel Ortom has appealed for the re-establishment of the National Examination Council (NECO) zonal office in Makurdi Benue state capital.
The governor made the appeal Wednesday at the New Banquet Hall, Benue Peoples House, Makurdi when the Registrar, NECO, Prof. Dantani Ibrahim Wushishi paid him a courtesy call.
Represented by his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu, he appealed to the Registrar to revisit the issue of the NECO zonal office that was moved from Makurdi to Ilorin, stating that the office should be re-established in Makurdi, due to the proximity of the location of the office in Ilorin to that of the Southern zonal office at Ibadan and for easy access by other states in the North Central region.
The governor maintained that, “Education is one of the state government priority and it is topmost on the agenda of the state government,” he said.
Governor Ortom charged the registrar to end the current trend of examination malpractice which he described as a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the educational system in the country, urging him to find solution to the menace. He also called for the inclusion of Tiv and Idoma languages into the state school curriculum, to help learners in the state learn the two major languages professionally.
He commended the standard of the examination conducted by NECO, stating that their examination is not inferior to West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), urging Prof. Wushishi to do his best to take the examination body to the next level, and enjoined the body not to maintain the statistics but improve on it for better results.
Earlier, in his remark, Prof. Wushishi, commended the state government for its continuous support, partnership and patronage to the examination council. He assured the state of the council’s readiness to partner the state to enhance its performance and educational improvement of the state.
Prof. Wushishi further commended Governor Ortom for his strides in education and providing a conducive environment for the conduct of NECO examinations in the state, which he said shows a man of clear vision towards education in the state. He also appealed to the state government to make all NECO exams compulsory for all public schools in the state.
NECO, which was established in 1999 with head office at Minna, Niger State, is saddled with the responsibility of conducting; National Common Entrance Examination for Unity Schools in the country; Basic Certificate Examination for JSS 3 candidates; and National Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination and National Senior Secondary School Certificate (Externals).