Most Nigerians who resent the tendency to lower standards could not understand why someone decided to create an examining body for high school education parallel to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
There was something ominous about setting up a body to do exactly what a sub-regional body had been doing for years.
Yes, there were problems with WAEC, including delays in releasing results, muddling of results and a host of other challenges. But the moment pupils began to come up with high scores that they couldn’t achieve at WAEC-conducted examinations, you knew that the Nigerian educational system had surrendered to inferiority.
Although people like Dibu Ojerinde have tried to sanitise the place, to give it some air of respectability, there are many who have refused to accept NECO as a necessary complement to WAEC. They would have heaved a sigh of relief with the decision of the Federal Government to scrap the agency, following the recommendation of the Steve Oronsaye-led Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals and Commissions.
The same sense of relief would have been felt by millions concerning the scrapping of the UTME function of the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB). Parents must particularly feel such relief because it is an end to paying twice for the same service – getting their wards into universities.