2019 Common Entrance: 75,635 candidates jostle for 25,000 spaces in Unity Schools

A total of 75,635 candidates sat for the 2019 National Common Entrance Examination on Saturday nationwide for admission into the 104 Federal Government Colleges also known as Unity Schools.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, speaking while monitoring the exercise in Abuja, however, revealed that only 25,000 spaces were available for the best candidates to be selected from the figure above.

Adamu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono, visited some of the examination centres in Abuja alongside the Acting Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of National Examination Council (NECO), Mr Abubakar Gana and other officials of the Ministry.

The Council conducted the examination in 458 centres; 457 centres in Nigeria and one examination centre in Porto Novo, Benin Republic.

Adamu, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the recruitment of additional teachers for the Unity Schools as well as rehabilitation of dilapidated structures in the institutions.

He said the regularisation of Parents Teachers Association (PTA) teachers, was also ongoing all aimed at improving the quality and increase access for the teeming population of Nigerians.

“We are pleased that Mr President graciously approved that we should begin to rehabilitate many of these Unity Colleges.

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“Besides the security infrastructure, we are now providing both new classrooms as well as rehabilitating the dilapidated ones. And we are also dealing with our libraries, the laboratory and so on.

“We are recruiting additional teachers for our schools and as we speak, both the regularization of PTA and recruitment of new teachers are ongoing,” he said.

The Minister commended NECO for the smooth and orderly conduct of the examination, saying the 2019 exercise was an improvement over the previous National Common Entrance Examination.

NECO Acting Registrar, disclosed that the results of the examination would be released on Wednesday 1st May 2019 to the Federal Ministry of Education, adding that NECO would be directed to release the results to the public after the selection exercise.

He said all necessary arrangements were put in place to ensure smooth conduct of the examination, adding that staff were deployed to serve as supervisors in all the centres.

Statistics revealed that there was a reduction in the number of candidates who registered for examination when compared to 2018, where a total of 81,451 candidates registered.

Gana, however, attributed this low registration to 2019 General Elections, which coincided with the time of registration and that politicians who usually bankroll their candidates for the National Common Entrance were occupied by political activities.

He said: “We registered 75, 635 as at yesterday which is a drop in 2018 conduct. The reduction in the number drop because of the politics in the country.

“Politics in the sense that everyone is struggling to ensure that his candidates are admitted in federal school because of the quota system.

“So the politicians that are used to bankrolling candidates for this exams were busy in the field so it affected the number of candidates that registered. Most of these northern states are being assisted by politicians and most of this is politically motivated because it has quota.

“It is because of that reason we have to shift the date from 13 April to 27, but looking at the numbers on ground we have to plead with the Ministry to extend the date. The shift increase in the number of candidates.

“The least state is Zamfara with 59 candidates and others have also moved to over 100 and 200 candidates. Lagos is the highest state with 23,459.

“The number of candidates to be admitted will be based on the carrying capacity and this is handled by the ministry. The result will be ready by Wednesday. Merit is 60 per cent and quota and others 40 per cent,” the NECO boss said.

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