The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has revealed how some facilities put in place helped to nab those sabotaging the efforts of the board to conduct a credible computer based test, adding that, a couple of security agents were caught through the Closed Circle Television, CCTV deployed to the exam centers.
Oloyede added that the introduction of the National Identification Number (NIN) in its just concluded exercise successfully flushed out ‘fake people’ from the examination process.
In addition to that, JAMB confirmed that NIN as well as other measures introduced in the 2021 UTME exercise helped greatly to curtail malpractices and other impersonation that often characterize the registration process.
JAMB Registrar Prof Ishaq Oloyede told members of the Senate Committee on Basic Education who were on an oversight visit to JAMB headquarters in Abuja, on Monday, that JAMB will continue to take steps that would strengthen the credibility of the examination system.
Prof Oloyede disclosed that 40 malpractice cases were recorded in the 2021 UTME exercise as against over 4,000 that was recorded in the previous year, adding that some security personnel were nabbed for abetting malpractices during the examination.
‘This year’s examination malpractice dropped radically from over 4,500 cases to about 40 cases. And not less than 50 per cent of the arrested cases are traceable to institutions,’ he said.
‘What we have this year is security agents trying to change candidates after they have been verified. After biometric verification, but then parents would have paid security agents, they will now smuggle the verified candidates out and smuggle in new persons whose fingers were not verified.
‘Our Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras picked them and that’s why we are now arresting the security men, two or three of them have confessed to the crime.’
The JAMB boss said the Board would not hesitate to withdraw the results of candidates involved in malpractice after thorough viewing of CCTV cameras deployed for the examination.
On the alleged poor performance by candidates, Oloyede said UTME is not a certification examination, hence, there cannot be an issue of mass failure.
‘Some people don’t know that in the ranking examination, there is no pass or fail. You can’t fail it, you are just ranking them because what qualifies candidates for university education is not UTME but five O level credits. So, it’s assumed all of them have five O level credits.
‘UTME is one chance exercise. What it means is that anything can affect it. Quarrelling with your wife that morning could affect your performance. In the certification examination, there is continuous assessment.’
Prof Oloyede alleged that those who are making noise about ‘mass failure’ are the proprietors of schools and tutorial masters because of the huge money they have collected from the parents and their ability in the past to cut corners and get inflated results for people.
‘We have blocked them, thanks to the introduction of NIN which has really helped. Many people were making noise saying the introduction of NIN will put people under pressure, that thousands would not be registered.
‘To show the statistics, after we have finished with the old (normal registration), we opened the new one. We asked anybody who had be unable to take our forms due to NIN to come and register, bring a draft of N4, 000, so that we don’t just make fake people come around and they came.
‘All of them were about 36,000, who were deprived because of NIN, but the gain for the country is better than 36, 000 that were not registered because of the fake number we were having.
‘Last year, we registered 2.2 million, which is money for JAMB. But that is not the type of money a nation needs. Only close to 1.4 million candidates registered for this year’s examination because of the NIN which prevented dubious registration.’
Oloyode also revealed that plans are underway to put in place a 2,500 capacity CBT centre in the present JAMB headquarters for the conduct of UTME and other examinations for government agencies.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on basic and secondary education, Akon Eyakenyi, who led the team to JAMB headquarters in Abuja, expressed delight and satisfaction with the report presented by Oloyede, especially in the area of the Board’s expenditure and seamless conduct of UTME.
On some of the issues raised by the Board, the Committee promised to ensure an amendment of the JAMB Act to prohibit regularisation of illegal admission and prescribe a minimum age that must be attained by a candidate before gaining entry into the university system.
‘The interaction with the registrar revealed a lot of truth that Nigerians don’t know as it relates to conduct of UTME. He appreciated the registrar and his management team for their efforts in sanitizing the system, thereby, restoring its credibility,’ she said.