Prof. Is-haq Oloyede
Some Computer-Based Test (CBT) Centres which were delisted over alleged dishonesty in the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) are currently under investigation by security agencies, while their proprietors would soon face trial in Court.
The Registrar/Chief Executive of Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, stated this in his speech during a meeting with owners of CBT centres on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, during the just-concluded rescheduled (mop-up) examination, JAMB could not conduct smooth and flawless examination in certain seven centres where the examination had to be conducted, despite all admonitions for centres to ensure that facilities work to required standards.
“The centres concerned are hereby advised to work towards enhancing their efficiency if they wish to be retained for the Board subsequent activities. Whenever the concerned centres are satisfied that they have fixed their problems, they are to satisfy some conditions immediately”, Oloyede said.
Excerpts of the speech below…
I want to begin by expressing the Board’s appreciation to you all for the excellent services provided by most CBT centres during the 2017 UTME. We specially appreciate those CBT centres which lived above board in the discharge of their responsibilities honestly and efficiently at a time when many others chose to toe the path of shame and dishonour by abusing public trust. I therefore congratulate all of you who remained faithful to the confidence reposed in you by the Nigerian Public. Your actions are a reflection of your character and sincerity. I assure you that for as long as you remain so, our relationship shall continue to blossom.
As we commend, honour and showcase exemplary conduct, we shall not shy away from shaming the bad eggs in our midst. We would not only distance ourselves from them, in order not to allow them stain our cherished and valued character, we shall endeavour to expose them for what they are and insist on appropriate sanctions.
On the part of the Board, we have delisted some Centres that indulged in irregularities, malpractices and illegalities. While investigations are still ongoing in some other centres, we have reported those found culpable of crimes to the security agencies for appropriate actions including prosecution and its attendant consequences. In order to serve as deterrent to others, we are ready to go the whole hog of the investigation and legal processes and procedures. We are also ready to support the processes with all the necessary logistics.
Every centre involved in any shameful act during registration, conduct of the examination and even after the administration of the examination, including the individuals and entities claiming to have ability to increase scores of candidates or those involved in admission racketeering using the Computer Based Test centres as allies would be fished out and dealt with appropriately. In JAMB, the change begins with me campaign is not only a slogan, but it is already a way of life which we believe in and which we have adopted as our guiding principle.
I therefore use this opportunity to register the Board’s strong displeasure over the conduct of some CBT centres, which in spite of the Board’s efforts in providing necessary facilities to the Centres with a view to checking incessant tide of examination malpractice, still went ahead to perpetrate all sorts of illegal acts. We have taken the first and immediate action of suspending and delisting seventy-two (72) centres.
One defect which stood out clearly from the current exercise is the inexplicable use of only few and insufficient registration outlets by the CBT centres. We need to discuss how to retain some extra hands to increase the registration outlets in each centre.
Apart from this, other infringements of the centres include:
1. Centre-induced malpractice;
2. Creation of illegal connection to “VIP” rooms where candidates with the right prizes were allowed to sit for examination clandestinely;
3. Creation of deliberate technical hiccups in order to retain JAMB questions for clandestine purposes and unwholesome commercialization;
4. Extortion of candidates and gullible parents;
5. Unruly behavior to examination officials;
6. Deceit and round tripping of equipment;
7. Inadequate facilities; and
8. Other technical issues.
This meeting has been called to review the 2017 exercise and begin the preparation for the 2018 programme. As a way of moving forward, the Board will strengthen the verification exercise by adopting the following measures:
1. Verification of CBT centres will be done unannounced and regularly. Centres which do not perform to the expected level will have to be delisted.
2. The Board will engage the services of local professionals who will be assigned with the responsibility of inspecting the centres regularly.
3. The Board will not tolerate flying cables, as all cabling must be properly trunked. CBT centres are to be established in buildings without any possibility of connection with any other room or facility.
MANAGEMENT OF CBT CENTRES
For the purposes of proper coordination and accountability, the Board would like to advise CBT centre owners to engage professionals who have the capacity to manage chains of CBT centres. This is for ease of administration and to eliminate some of the embarrassing challenges based on our recent experience. The mega centre format is to hold a company or group of companies responsible for a block of centres and enhance their proficiency. The details of the mega system would be discussed with you and your understanding would be fully taken into consideration before the implementation of the idea. The idea is to reduce the level of diversion being created by direct accreditation of individual centres. We are considering the idea of having a mega centre in each of the six (6) geo-political zones. Your input is welcome.
PAYMENT FOR REGISTRATION
Due to the challenges associated with the payment for registration during the 2017 exercise, at the Computer Based Test centres, the Board is already discussing a better and seamless solution with banks and telecommunication service providers.
This process for the 2018 exercise would be discussed on its merit and your understanding would also be fully acknowledged and taken into consideration before adoption.
REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR 2018
The discovery of errors by CBT centres including those owned by the Board in the 2017 registration exercise is very revealing. This has led to many candidates requesting for one form of correction of data or the other.
The Board is poised to eliminate all forms of errors and also hold people responsible for negligence and mischief. The CBT centres will be required to ensure that as soon as candidates complete their registration, they should upload the handwritten forms of the candidates. This will make easy for whatever errors to be easily identified and traced.
All candidates must register under the lenses of the CCTV Camera and the footage of which should be uploaded to the Board Headquarters. We have discussed with the telecommunication service providers the details of the required bandwidth and data for the operation.
These measures are aimed at curtailing the need and demand for corrections. Thus, any centre that makes a mistake during the registration, as will be proven by the uploaded forms and CCTV footage, will be liable for such errors as they will not be paid for the total number of candidates they have committed such errors. This measure has become necessary as it has come to the notice of the Board that some centres make deliberate mistakes in order to extort candidates.
The process of scanning and uploading completed forms by candidates has to be done meticulously. The details of this process would also be explained later.
In addition, scanning of passport photograph would not be accepted anymore. Rather real time capturing of candidates’ photo at the centre would now be the rule.
FAILURE OF CENTRES DURING THE RESCHEDULED EXAMINATION
Even during the just concluded rescheduled (mop-up) examination, in spite of all admonitions for centres to ensure that facilities work to required standards, the Board could not conduct smooth and flawless examination in certain centres where the examination had to be conducted.
The Centres concerned are hereby advised to work towards enhancing their efficiency if they wish to be retained for the Board subsequent activities. Whenever the concerned centres are satisfied that they have fixed their problems, they are to do the following immediately:
1. Invite the Board for inspection of their facilities which is not the same as accreditation exercise.
2. On the agreed day for the inspection, the centre should invite students commensurate to the capacity of the centre for a trial testing of the centre at full capacity.
3. The centre will run a trial test examination for two hours and this must be conducted smoothly without any hitch.
4. All facilities of the centres including the computer systems, cooling systems, CCTV Cameras, generating sets, backup inverters or UPS and other requirements would be put to test during the exercise.
5. The Centre must provide adequate security for such exercise.
6. The exercise would be observed by an Independent Technical Advisor chosen by the Board.
At the end of the exercise, and depending on the assessment of the Board and the Independent Technical Advisor, the verdict of the Centre’s suitability would be communicated to the Centre and it would determine whether any of the concerned centres would be allowed to participate in the Board’s future activities.
The Centres concerned are:
Doreen Institute of Computer Technologies, Opp. National Population Commission, New Haven Junction, Along Holy Ghost Road By Aba Road, Umuahia, Abia State.
National Comprehensive Secondary School, Umoukea, No 1, Oji Avenue, Off 3, Glass Industry Road, Near 7-Up Plant, Obingwa LGA, Abia State
Makac Global Intergrated Services Nig Ltd., 63/64, Asa Road, Aba, Abia State
Pius Comprehensive Secondary School, Umuigwe-Amakama, Umuahia South L.G.A., Abia State Ctr1
Prince Chums Global Ltd, (Community Secondary School), Along Umueze-Amaoji Road, Isuofia, AnambraState
Bintels Global Services LTD.(Centre for Computer Education), Fr. Joseph Memorial High Sch. Aguleri, Anambra State
Land Resources Technology, Owerri,Imo
May I also state unequivocally and without mincing words that some centres are derailing from their core mandate of quality service delivery to engaging in unionism. I, therefore, urge the CBT centre owners not to allow themselves to be infiltrated by people who do not mean well for the education system.
As we prepare for the 2018 registration and examination, we urge you and all other partners to brace up for the coming activities. Only the honourable who truly have honour would be able to go on this trip with us.
We appreciate the investment many of you have put into this enterprise and we shall not deprive you the fruits of your investment, if your aims and objectives are transparently and manifestly sincere and genuine.
Thank you all and God bless you all.