The National Examination Council has said that the recent postponement of its examination for private candidates was due to the Federal Government’s decision to declare a public holiday.
The body also dismissed the insinuation that this was the third time it postponed the examination, describing it as a social media hoax and explaining that it had not released its timetable up until its publications appeared in the print and broadcast media on Wednesday.
NECO’s Director of Exam Administration, Mustapha Abdul, made this known in an interview with our correspondent on Thursday.
Stating that copies of the updated examination timetable had been emailed to candidates so that they would not suffer the fate of missing a paper, Abdul said, “We planned our timetable based on the fact that we expected Wednesday to be a holiday, that is the Eid-el-Maolud. However, the change was confirmed yesterday (Wednesday), when we learn from an authoritative source that the Federal Government would declare Tuesday a public holiday, instead of Wednesday.
“Since we cannot have an examination on a public holiday, the best thing we could do was to shift it and notify the candidates. The examination would have started today. And if we had shifted the exams around without notifying the candidates, so many candidates would have missed their vital papers.
“So we needed to buy time for people to be notified of the change and not miss their papers. If there was no public holiday, there wouldn’t have been a shift.
“We took this step because this is a private examination for people who really need to pass a subject that is required to gain admission to the university. If there is any mix-up and they miss a paper, it could be very devastating. That’s why we had to shift the examination to give people ample time to get better information.”
Reacting to the postponement, a candidate, Olu Jaiyesimi, who was supposed to sit the examination at Tolu School Complex in the Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State, said that he expected the NECO examination to be shifted. “I didn’t bother myself because I was expecting them to shift the examination. This is the third time now. It is almost as if they are not interested in conducting the examination.”
This was just as Amara Okoye, another candidate that was to take the examination in Ibafo, Ogun State, said she heard of the last two postponements on twitter and was not surprised when the third one came.
Calling on candidates to always check NECO’s official website and their personal email to get information, as opposed to relying on the social media, Abdul said, “This is the first time it has been postponed. We scheduled it to hold from November 19 to December 19. We had never released any timetable before then. The information that was passed around before now is incorrect. That happens a lot on social media. That is why we refer people to our website to download the updated timetable. We sent emails and text messages to candidates, just to make sure that they got correct information and no one missed a paper.”