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What is NECO: History, Advantages and Disadvantages of NECO, Functions of NECO

Nuelson Penuel Saturday, June 3, 2023 Education

 
In this article, you will learn the meaning of NECO, history of NECO, advantages and disadvantages of NEC6 and functions of NECO.

What is NECO?

NECO stands for the National Examination Council. It is an examination body in Nigeria that conducts both internal and external examinations at the secondary school level. The institution was established in 1999 with the aim of reducing the workload of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and ensuring the standardization of secondary school examinations in Nigeria. NECO is responsible for conducting the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE), Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) and other related examinations.

History of NECO

The National Examination Council (NECO) was established in April 1999 by the Olusegun Obasanjo-led civilian administration alongside the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, the Ministry of Education, and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). Its establishment was in response to the need for a standardized and reliable examination body in Nigeria. NECO was created to take over the responsibilities of the General Certificate of Education Ordinary and Advanced Levels (GCE O and A levels) examinations previously administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and other examination bodies. It was also established to eliminate confusion and controversies surrounding multiple examinations in Nigerian secondary schools. NECO conducted its first examination (June/July examination) in 2000 and has been growing since then. It currently conducts the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE), Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), National Technical Certificate Examination (NTCE), and other related examinations. Today, NECO is recognized as one of the major examination bodies in Nigeria, and its exams are widely accepted for admission into higher education institutions in Nigeria and beyond.

Advantages of NECO

Here are some advantages of NECO: 1. Credibility: As a government-owned agency, NECO enjoys greater credibility in terms of the reliability and validity of its examination results. This helps eliminate doubts and controversies that often arise with respect to other non-governmental examination bodies. 2. Wider Acceptance: NECO certificates are accepted in Nigeria and other African countries and are often an alternative to the certificates offered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) or the General Certificate of Education (GCE). 3. Cost-effective: NECO registration fees are generally lower than other examination bodies in Nigeria, thus making it a more affordable option for students. 4. Comprehensive syllabus: NECO has a comprehensive syllabus that covers all academic subjects offered in Nigerian secondary schools, helping students prepare fully for their exams. 5. Timely release of results: NECO results are usually released earlier than other examination bodies in Nigeria. This helps candidates to make informed decisions about their academic and career choices without unnecessary delays. 6. Improved educational evaluation system: NECO has contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria's educational evaluation system and has helped to improve the quality and standard of education in the country.

Disadvantages of NECO

Some of the disadvantages of NECO are outlined as follows: 1. Limited international recognition: Although NECO certificates are widely recognized within Nigeria and some African countries, they may not be accepted by universities and colleges in other parts of the world. This could limit graduates' opportunities to pursue higher education or employment abroad. 2. Limited subject offerings: Although NECO offers a comprehensive syllabus, the range of subjects is still more limited than some other examination bodies. This could limit students' ability to study certain subjects and pursue their areas of interest. 3. Inadequate preparation: Some candidates may feel that the syllabus provided by NECO is not sufficient for proper preparation for current academic requirements. It may fall behind in its curriculum compared to other examination bodies. 4. Malpractices and irregularities: Instances of examination malpractices and irregularities such as leakages of examination questions or examiners' and supervisors' involvement in corrupt activities are a concern, which could result in a loss of integrity for the examination body. 5. Administrative lapses: Some candidates may experience administrative errors causing delays in receiving examination results thereby causing frustration and inconvenience.

Functions of NECO

The following are some of the functions of NECO: The National Examinations Council, also known as NECO, is a Nigerian examination body that conducts examinations for students in secondary schools. Necos functions include: 1. Conducting Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) for Nigerian students. 2. Conducting National Common Entrance Examination for admission into secondary schools. 3. Conducting Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) for Junior Secondary School Students. 4. Developing curricula and syllabuses for examination subjects. 5. Providing teachers with support and guidelines for effective teaching and learning. 6. Evaluating and assessing the performance of students in various examinations conducted by the council. 7. Providing valid and reliable measurement of the students' abilities, skills, and knowledge. 8. Awarding certificates and grades to successful candidates. 9. Collaborating with other examination bodies within and outside Nigeria. 10. Providing research services in measurement and evaluation in education. 11. Engaging in various educational and examination-related activities. The functions of NECO are dedicated to ensuring that Nigerian students have access to quality and reliable examinations that will help them to achieve academic excellence and succeed in their careers.

Conclusion

The National Examinations Council (NECO) is a vital part of the Nigerian educational system, and its functions are aimed at improving the quality of education in the country. It provides a platform for the evaluation of students' performance, which is essential in assessing the effectiveness of the education system. NECO also plays a critical role in the process of admission into higher institutions, as the results of its exams are accepted by institutions in Nigeria and beyond. The council’s commitment to developing curricula and syllabuses for examination subjects, as well as providing support and guidelines for effective teaching and learning, has contributed significantly to improving the quality of education in Nigeria. Overall, NECO has made significant strides in providing valid and reliable measurement of the students' abilities, skills, and knowledge, and has proven to be a reliable and trusted examination body in Nigeria.

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