The House Of Representatives says it is in support of the Computer Based Testing and certifies the e-examination system for the conduct of Admission Examinations into Nigerian tertiary institutions.
The Chairman of the Committee, Zakari Mohammed made this known in Abuja during a fact finding visit and the committee`s inspection of the rescheduled exams for students who missed their exams in the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations due to center relocation and critical health problems.
Zakari, who stressed that Nigeria cannot afford to return to Paper Pencil Test also stated that the House of Representative never took a position on the Computer Based Test, he added that suggestions were only made by the House members on finding common ground for the adoption of both Paper Pencil Test and the Computer Based Test.
“Basically we need to be educated more.We are in support of the CBT and we cannot go back to paper pencil,we must be in tandem with the world in the conduct of our exams.
The House did not take any position on CBT,but there were factions on the floor as to the adoption of both methods and I believe it is the reason why we, the House Committee on Basic Education, was mandated to investigate.”
“Nigeria cannot afford to maintain double standards as we know other African countries such as Uganda have been to our country to replicate our system such as the CBT.”
Zakari acknowledged the hitches in the conduct of the 2016 UTME. He said that in any new process, there are bound to be hitches.
“There are hitches for us. It is a good development that Nigeria is going Computer Based for her exams. We sure hope other sister agencies will follow suit.”
The Committee Chair assured them that the House was throwing its weight behind full acceptance of CBT regretting that it was unfortunate that the present generation was advocating a return to the paper pencil test.
“We are putting our weight behind the CBT other countries of the world cannot be flying while Nigeria is crawling.”
He urged parents to be more patient and called for support for JAMB saying that Nigeria could afford to be static while the world was moving.
Speaking on the validation of of Jamb exam results, Zakari said “looking at numbers of students who write Jamb exam every year and talking about extending the validity of results; it may lead to a backlog of the candidates yearly and will be competing for space in our higher institutions but the House will sure look at it and invite Jamb and other stakeholders to speak more on it.”
The Chairman House Committee on Basic Education, however, said that JAMB needs to do more on advocacy and sensitization.
On the rescheduled exams, the Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde said a total of 2064 candidates across Nigeria. 393 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were expected to resit for the exams following the relocating of centers and due to medical challenges.
Ojerinde stated further that only 15 centers from 24 states were affected among 540 centers used across the nation and abroad.
He added that 15 of JAMB staff are currently under investigation over the compromise of standards over the accreditation process of centers, which according to him, led to technical problems encountered during the conduct of the 2016 UTME.
The JAMB boss also stated that the new software introduced to improve on the standard was observed to have also contributed to some challenges at an early stage of the 2016 exams but that the board immediately returned to its previous software used in the previous years.
“A committee has been set up to investigate the role of some of our staff about 15 of them who conducted accreditation exercise for some centers and if they are found guilty, they risk jail terms.”
The team of the House Committee on Basic Education was led by Honourable Zakari Mohammed and his deputy, Honourable Emeka Anohu.