A total of 76,855 candidates on Saturday sat for the 2021 National Common Entrance Examination for admission into the 110 Federal Government Colleges, also known as Unity Schools, according to the National Examinations Council.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, noted that goverment had planned to increase the carrying capacity of the Unity Schools to 30,000 to accommodate new schools and more candidates who were desirous of attending the Colleges.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono, he noted that the carrying capacity was increased to about 26,000 last year, which did not include the six new Technical Colleges and the plan to establish five more Colleges in the country to bring the total number of Unity Colleges to 115.
He said the government was concerned about persistent attacks on schools and abduction of students and had taken steps to beef up security around the Colleges while appealing to parents to allow their children enrol for the Colleges, established to foster national integration and cohesion.
Adamu said: “We know that there are security challenges across the Federation but we are working assiduously to address that. Goverment has been kind to the sector and National Assembly has continued to appropriate funds for us to provide security infrastructure in our schools.
“So, the Federal Schools are actually more secured than most others. On the strength of that we want parents to allow their children enrol for the schools; let them know this country and meet other people, he said.
He said it was interesting that more girls sat for the examination on Saturday, as a result of sensitisation and advocacy efforts of the Ministry.
He said Zamfara four years ago had no single student to enrol into Unity College, and had surprisingly become the first state with highest registered number of candidates in the North after Federal Capital Territory.
Adamu said: “This examination is taking place at a very difficult time, our chief examiner is not here with us, but as people of faith, we say all is well and we are trusting God to comfort the family and rest of us in Education family for the loss of the Registrar of NECO, Prof. Godswill Obioma.
Acting Registrar of NECO, Ebikibina Ogborodi, who accompanied the permanent secretary, said the conduct of the examination was smooth and hitch-free in all the 417 examination centres across the country.
While giving further breakdown on candidates that sat for the examination, the Acting Registrar said state with the highest nimber of candidates was Lagos with 21,423 candidates, followed by FCT, 8674 candidates, Anambra 5,738 and Zamfara has 4,865 while Taraba has the least registered number of candidates, 113.
He also disclosed that the total number of female that registered for the examination was 39,555 while a total of 37,300 male candidates registered for the examination.