Written by Godfrey AKON

Unity Schools: 75,635 jostle for 25,000 admission spaces

No fewer than 75, 635 candidates sat for the 2019 Common Entrance Examination into the 104 Federal Unity Colleges on Saturday.

The examination which was conducted by the National Examinations Council, NECO, is expected to fill only 25,000 admission spaces in all 104 unity schools across the country.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, while monitoring the exercise in Abuja, said President Muhammdu Buhari has given directives to expand the facilities in the colleges to provide more admission spaces.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono, Adamu said the federal government has begun the renovation and rehabilitation of the colleges across the country.

According to him, the rehabilitation exercise include replacement of broken toilets, ceilings, creation of additional classrooms and the renovation of existing ones.

The minister disclosed that the government had already begun recruitment of teachers to carter for the new intake in the next term which begins in September.

"We are pleased that Mr. President graciously approved that we should begin to rehabilitate many of these unity colleges. Besides the security infrastructure, we are now providing both new classrooms and as well as rehabilitating the dilapidated ones and we are also dealing with the libraries, laboratories and so on.

"We are recruiting additional teachers for the unity schools as we speak. Both the regularisation of PTA teachers and new recruitment are ongoing at the Federal Civil Service Commission as we speak and they will come in early enough for them to be inducted, trained, given some kind of preparation ahead of the opening of the schools next term," he said.

Earlier, the Acting Registrar of NECO, Mr Abubakar Gana, said the examination was written in 457 centres nationwide, including one centre in Port Novo, Benin Republic, adding that the results of the examination will be released on Wednesday.

Gana said Zamfara was the state with the least number of candidates as the state registered only 59 candidates while Lagos was the highest with23, 459 number of candidates.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Governing Board of NECO, Mr. Abubakar Muhammed, said the federal government was serious about ensuring that the 104 unity schools function as supposed and was providing facilities and making sure students are well catered for.

Mohammed said the government was not considering selling the colleges as rumoured, describing the idea that everything should be privatized as madness.

He added that if there was anything wrong with the schools it was the job of the ministry of education to ensure they are corrected and the schools strengthened instead of abandoning them.

“Is there anything wrong with the government investing in the future of their children? I am happy that this government has said no to the privatization of the colleges; unity schools have come to stay,” he said. 

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