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Examiner condemns pupils’ poor shading skills of OMR answer sheets


NECO Examination

As the National Examinations Council (NECO) successfully conducted the 2018 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), last Saturday, in which about 26,000 pupils participated in Lagos, an examiner has lamented poor shading skills of Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet by candidates.

The examination is for primary six pupils nationwide seeking admission into Junior Secondary School (JSS 1) of Federal Government Colleges, otherwise known as Unity Schools.

The colleges are distributed across the six geopolitical zones of the country.


The examination took place in 116 centres across Lagos state including Cotonou in Benin Republic. A total of 79,987, candidates registered for the examination nationwide.

However, when The Guardian visited Ikotun Senior School, one of the designated centres, the first part of the examination, Mathematics and General Science/English and Social Studies, had taken off, while parents waited patiently at another arm of the school.

An officer from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other local security guards were parading at the entrance of the main building where the examination is being held.

A parent, Mrs. Bisi Adejoke regretted that they were not allowed to go beyond the mini entrance of the examination hall. “I wanted to take my son’s second pencil to him, but they didn’t allow me.”

Upstairs where the examination was going on, a supervisor and deputy director from NECO national office was sighted complaining to her colleagues from Lagos office, about poor shading skills of OMR answer sheet by pupils.

The supervisor, who declined to speak to our reporter, wondered how parents and schools could register their wards for such examination, without preparing them adequately. Together with her colleague, they were patiently teaching the affected pupils how to do proper shading on a plain sheet.

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