The Federal Government says it plans to increase the number of spaces in unity schools as a measure to accommodate more out-of-school children in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono made this known in Abuja during the 2019 National Common Entrance Examination on Saturday.
He explained that each time there is an increase; the government had to recruit more teachers and provide more classrooms because every child deserves an opportunity to go to school.
Echono said: “Part of our intervention is to ensure that we bring more children into the school system and reduce the number of kids who are out of school. We are having so many programmes and one of them is to increase the spaces available in our unity colleges.
“Each time we do this; there are other consequential interventions that are needed; additional classrooms, teachers.”
Unlike 2018 which had 81,451 candidates write the exam, 2019 had a drop to 75,636; with Lagos state having the highest number of registration, while Zamfara had the least.
Acting Registrar of the National Examination Council (NECO), Abubakar Gana explained that the drop is due to political activities witnessed in the country.
“So far this year, we registered 75,635 as of Friday. But there is a drop because of the political situation in the country. Usually, this is an exam that has links with politics; everybody is struggling to ensure that his own candidate has gotten admitted into Federal school because of the quota issue.
“At such, the politicians that are used to bankrolling candidates for these exams were busy in the field,” he maintained.
Lagos state which had 25,751 registered candidates in 2018, dropped by 2,292 students to 23,459.
Zamfara maintained the least state with the number of registration with 59 students.
Unity schools are expected to admit only 24,385 students for the 2019 session across the country as the results are expected to be published on May 1, 2019.