9th July, 2010
NECO says it will continue to engage the services of security operatives, especially members ofÂ the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, in the conduct ofÂ its examinations.
NECO Registrar, Prof. Promise Okpala, told newsmen on Thursday in Minna that the use of uniformed personnel would curb malpractice and ensure the sanctity ofÂ the examinations.
The News Agency ofÂ Nigeria (NAN)Â recalls that there has been criticism of NECO by stakeholders over the deployment of uniformed security operatives for its examinations.
“Civil defence personnel do not carry weapons or is it because they are wearing uniform? Are the children not wearing uniform?
“So, how can a 17-year old child, who must have studied for his examinations say he is intimidated by a man wearing uniform and staying at the back of the hall
“If we really want to fight examination malpractice, we must continue to use them because they are representing us,â€™â€™ he said.
Okpala said all NECO workers and security personnel “go through training and orientation before they are posted to schools.”
He described as unfortunate the recent incident in Edo where NECO officials were initially prevented from monitoring the councilâ€™s examinations.
“Why should NECO officials stay at the gate? It is important that an examination body has an agent; somebody who would be responsible to them in the examination hall,â€™â€™ he said.
Okpala said NECO officials were not detailed to invigilate but to monitor, observe and write their reports on the conduct of the examinations “just as it is done during elections.”
The NECO boss tracedÂ examinationÂ malpractice in the country to the 1970s, saying it had developed into a cankerworm that “must be fought by all stakeholders, including schools and parents.”
He also expressed concern atÂ the hostile treatment faced by some ofÂ his workers in the course of their duties.
“Some of our staff are even tortured and assaulted in the course of duty.
“ A staff was bathed with acid recently, so you can see what I am talking about,” Okpala added.