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Education Reforms : Stakeholders Demand Review Of NECO Laws

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Stakeholders in the education sector have demanded a thorough review of existing laws governing the National Examination Council (NECO).

The review, according to them would instigate reforms that reflect the technological advancements and evolving needs of the educational landscape.

They made the call during a one day retreat by NECO titled “Legislative Functions: The Imperatives of Achieving NECO’s Mandate and the Challenges of Examination Legislation in Nigeria,” held in Abuja on Monday.

READ NECO Introduces Digitalized Recruitment For Examination Supervisors

Among them are the governor of Niger state, Mohammed Umar Bago, Registrar/Chief Executive of NECO, Professor Ibrahim Dantani Wushishi, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Didi Esther Walson-Jack, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, Senators, among others.

Speaking at the event, Governor Bago, who was the chairman of the occasion, said it was important to look into the existing laws that guides NECO in the conduct of its various examinations to address issues of artificial intelligence.

“This retreat is very timely and I’m very impressed that the members of National assembly are fully represented looking at what forward for examination bodies like NECO in terms of innovation, the Imperative of changing or amending our laws to be in tandem with technology, time and innovation.

“For instance, artificial intelligence has come to stay so our law must also be able to key into this technological advancements. So this retreat is timely.

“I only call on NECO and stakeholders to expand it beyond this hall so that other stakeholders will have input and also be able to come out with a robust policy and laws in order to be sent to national assembly,” the governor said.

On his part, Wushishi said the challenges in fulfilling NECO’s mandate highlight the critical need for a robust legislative framework.

He identified infrastructure Constraints, surge in candidate enrollment, in adequate funding, examination malpractice, amongst others as some of the key hurdles faced by the examination body.

This is just as he stressed the need for a review of the existing laws of the Council.

Also speaking, the Minister of state for education, Sununu Tanko, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Didi Esther Walson-Jack, urged participants to actively engaged in the discussions to enable NECO effectively achieve its mandate.

“NECO plays an indispensable role in ensuring the sustainable management of our educational landscape.

“Despite the significance of the examination legislation, we cannot ignore the challenges we face, from outdated laws and validation to emerging issues like examination malpractice and digital transformation, there’s an urgent need to review and modernise the legislative framework to effectively address these challenges,” he added.

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