A former Commissioner of Education, Prof. Ngozi Osarenren has said that the regional examination body WAEC (West African Examination Council) is better and more effective than its Nigerian counterpart, National Examination Council (NECO).
Speaking as a guest on Sunrise Daily, the Professor of Counseling and Psychology with University of Lagos questioned the need for Nigeria to have an indigenous examination body stating that the regional examination body is better.
Prof. Osarenren’s statement is coming on the heels of a federal government policy to dislodge NECO and a number of agencies in its bid to cut the cost of governance.
“What we should be talking about is the sanctity and credibility of our exams; not the duplicity of exam bodies.” Prof. Osarenren stated as she decried the establishment of NECO just to soothe Nigeria’s somewhat national pride for the sake of having its own national examination body.
“If we want to say the truth, we have to first of all start with a proper assessment and evaluation of the activities of NECO since 1999 since it was set up. Has it met the objectives?”
She opined that the regional examination body, WAEC is more competitive and better and can be used in any region of the continent as it is the same exam written across the West African sub-region.
Scrapping of JAMB
Prof. Osarenren confirmed that Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) will now be assuming a supervisory role as reported by the new federal government policy.
She however stated that the idea would be good only “if honesty is raised to what it ought to be” warning that just the restructuring of JAMB shouldn’t be the major but an overhaul the admission policy into the nation’s tertiary institutions.
According to the academician “only 40 per cent of candidates are admitted on merit.”
She further revealed that admissions are currently awarded on the following basis: 40 per cent on merit, 30 per cent on catchment, 30 per cent on Educationally Less Developed States (ELDS).
She expressed fears that with such admission procedure, Nigeria’s educational system will never be rated world class except admissions are awarded on merit.
She lamented the failure of Nigeria to be rated among the top 10 universities in Africa despite the myriad of institutions in the country.