The National Examinations Council, NECO, has said that the reason for using varying cut-off marks for different states across the nation for its examinations was because performances vary from state to state and unity schools were set up to take educationally disadvantaged states into cognizance.
Prof. Abdulrashid Garba, NECO Registrar disclosed this while fielding questions from newsmen after monitoring Saturday’s National Common Entrance examination interview exercise into Federal Government Colleges in Abuja.
Garba, who was represented by Mr Abdul Mustapha, the Abuja Liaison Officer of NECO, Garba explained that it was not the actual score alone that determines a child’s qualification for admission.
He said: “In every state, ranking is done; if you want to admit 6000 students in a state for instance, then you rank from the score of the first person to where the score of the 6000th person stops and that becomes the cut-off mark.
“Performances vary from state to state; you hear parents say I am from so and so state and my child scored high but was not admitted but another child from another state was admitted.
“It is so because the cut-off marks for such disadvantaged states are usually lower; there is a clear cut criteria and it is only for the parents to know the criteria.
“These schools are unity colleges which means you must take along all parts of the country.
According to him, every part of Nigeria must be adequately represented in those schools hence the variance in cut-off marks from state to state.
Also speaking at the event, Dr MacJohn Nwaobiala, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, said that the unity schools had the capacity to admit only about 24,000 students, but about 36,000 pupils sat for the interview.
Earlier on April 25, 86,365 pupils sat for the 2015 common entrance examinations for admission into the 104 unity colleges in the country.
The Permanent Secretary said that those that might not be absorbed in the unity schools still had opportunities in other schools.
He said that the results would be released by NECO to the Federal Ministry of Education on June 17, while experts from the ministry and principals of the colleges would undertake a selection and placement exercise between June 21 and June 25.
Nwaobiala charged candidates to check the status of their admissions at the various unity colleges and online at www.fmeinterviewtest.comn from June 29.