Sunday Magazine

NECO candidates express frustrations, may shun exam after passing WASSCE

Due to frustrations occasioned by the continuous postponement and delay in the recommencement of the 2020 National Examination Council (NECO) Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), many candidates may not be returning to the halls to continue with the examination, especially now that West African Examination Council (WAEC) has released the results of the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). CHIJIOKE IREMEKA reports

 

 

Many candidates of National Examination Council (NECO) for 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) may not be returning to the examination halls to continue their NECO examination for a number of reasons, if Sunday Telegraph investigation is anything to go by.

 

While some of them may have made their papers in the just released result of West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), those who have one reference or the other, will go back to the examination halls to continue their fights for better tomorrow and admission into Nigerian higher institutions of learning.

 

However, the majority of them, especially those who failed their WASSCE, are still dotted with the feeling of sadness and frustration that the examination they ought to have concluded, NECO is yet to recommence when the result of its sister exam – WASSCE – is out.

 

Sunday Telegraph learnt that there are widespread indications that even a number of those candidates, who have made their WASSCE, will go back to write the exam just to fulfill all righteousness since they paid and enrolled for the exam.

 

Thus, having stayed too long at home following the scourge of the global Covid- 19 pandemic, the candidates became apathetic in the examination before they were eventually called back to write the WASSCE.

 

Upon conclusion of WASSCE, they continued waiting to write NECO, which they started eventually but were caught in between the webs when the authorities had to postpone some papers due to the nationwide protests to end the police brutality in the country and to find a lasting solution to the prevalent sufferings and hardships in the land.

 

Sequel to this, many of the candidates may shun the continuation of NECO examination slated for Monday, November 9, 2020, due to what they expressed as frustration even as many others who are supposed to write the NECO may have passed WASSCE. For Abiola Jumoke, who just made a clean sweep of her WASSCE, there is no need going back to the class to write NECO as she has only one thing in her mind right, how to go in for the Post University Matriculation Examination (UTME).

 

She said her studying now is not for NECO as she had studied countless times and the government kept postponing the exam, insisting that her studious reading is now directed at the post UTME and not NECO.

 

According to her, she is done with Ordinary Level Certification Examination with her eight credits passed in WASSCE and is now pursuing admission into tertiary  education for continuous learning.

 

“I’m not going backward; I am going forward and therefore, I do not have any business with the NECO again. If I sit for it and write it, I will still not combine the two results if I make it. So, it’s needless. I am happy that all my studying is not in vain,” she enthused.

 

Also, Fredric Olisaemeka, feels he doesn’t need the NECO result again since he registered the exam at the first instance to be double sure that he would make his O’ Level in 2020 and position himself for 2020/2021 university admission.

 

He said: “I don’t need the NECO again and I am not going to write the exam because I registered for it to be sure this year wouldn’t be a waste for me. If not for the postponements, I would have sat for it.

 

But the release of the WASSCE result has helped me to avoid that wastage. “I made my papers in WASSCE. I made six ‘A,’ one ‘B’ and two Credits. I enrolled for English, Mathematics, Government, Literature-in-English, Economics, Bible Knowledge, Biology and Agriculture. I want to study Law.

 

So, I do not need the NECO anymore.” in the same vein, Ijeoma Okaro, who registered for WASSCE and NECO in one of the schools at Iyana Meiran, Lagos, said her WASSCE has covered the NECO, saying that she doesn’t see any sense sitting for an exam that will not be useful to her. “I want to believe that the NECO result will not be useful again for me. I made my papers at one sitting, so what is the need for NECO?

 

But my parents said I must write it, though I am not reading for that again. I am concentrating on post UTME,” she said. “Save for my guardian and counselor, I will not read for NECO again. My teacher asked me to go and write the exam, if not for anything, because my parents spent their money to register me for the exam. He said that there is no knowledge that is wasted in life, so I should go and write; it’s my right,” said Chinedu Ibeh, who also passed his WASSCE.

 

Chinedu, who passed through Boys’ High School, Ogidi, Anambra State, doesn’t feel like writing it again but will  do so on the advice of his teacher. “I made six credits including English and Mathematics. At least, I will be able to gain admission to any university of my choice in Nigeria and abroad, but I will join the exam next week. The only thing is that I may not study the way I studied before,” he added.

 

Meanwhile, there are other candidates who have expressed frustration over the endless waiting for the exam to recommence since it was suspended by the End- SARS protest across the country, saying that after they were fully prepared for the hall, the government went ahead to postpone the exam. Godwin Ogbodogbo is one of the candidates with such a feeling that the government and perhaps, Covid-19 pandemic and EndSARS protests in the country, brought the frustrations upon them, saying that by now, they should have known their fate or be studying for JAMB “It’s demoralising after one has finished burning the midnight candles and suffering in preparation for an exam, the same exam will be postponed a few days to writing.

 

It affected me and my friends because we stopped reading the way we used to except reading other materials that were not related to our exam,” Bolaji Ayeni, who will be sitting for the exam on Monday. He said since he didn’t make his papers, he would be combining the WASSCE with the NECO except he makes the NECO at one sitting. “I made five credits without English, so the NECO is important to me.

 

I will be combining the results except God makes me come out in flying colours in my NECO exam, then I will use only the NECO result,” he added. For Franca Amaiwe, the whole exercise is frustrating, saying she has studied and got tired of studying for any exam. She said: “Each time the new date was fixed for the exam, I studied and studied. When you are ready to write, they will suspend it. I am tired really but I don’t have a choice. I have to sit for it because the WASSCE has given me the reason to go back and study more.

 

My father will not take it lightly with me if I fail to make my O’ level this time. “In fact, I am under serious pressure from my parents and relatives who have made theirs, to also make mine. I can’t afford to be the only one left out. They will mock me if I fail to make it this time. I pray that God will help me. I can’t risk it. I will do what I have to do to pass this exam.”

 

A parent, Dr. Joshua Ibeneme said what happened was a natural disaster for which government should not be blamed. “It’s is part of the crisis and challenges in life that we have to face without emotional outburst. The government did what it should in a situation like this; else it will be blamed if things go wrong. Of course, I have told my daughter to brace up and go to finish up her exam.” “She has no other work to do now, so reading and schooling are her own career now and she has to take all the Exams I registered her for including the JAMB. Though she is the one studying but I am the one paying. So, she can’t waste that resource for me,” he added.

 

However, in the midst of all these frustrations and low spirit exhibited by these candidates, teachers have advised the candidate to sit for their papers as the NECO may give them better mileage than WASSCE even when they thought they have made it all. Mr. Vincent Ezeme said there is a great difference between a candidate who made nine ‘Cs’ in WASSCE and makes six ‘A’ in NECO, saying that during the university admission of some courses in some schools, the credit load becomes very important.

He said: “There is a situation whereby your grade matters a lot in university admissions. Some schools have to consider the grade you made in a particular subject and judge the admission applicant with it. This is done where the course the applicant is going for is competitive. “So, I will advise all these children to ensure they write their exams as if that is the only hope they have and finish their papers irrespective of the fact that they have made or cleared their WASSCE or not.”

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