Subsequent to the administrative declaration at Abuja by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Executive Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde and Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, that from 2013, Computer- Based Test (CBT) will be used to carry out UTME, reactions had continued to erupt from various stakeholders in the sector.
Computer-based test means that the exams will be taken using the computer as against the previous method of taking the exam through paper and pencil.
The switch to computer-based test is a significant investment prospect of JAMB certification programmes. Specialists have said that CBT In addition to other advantages, will enhance reasonable and accurate evaluation of a candidate’s capability, express turnaround of exam results, more alternatives as to when and where to take the exam, easier registration and equipped examination’s security.
While the UTME candidates are projected to experiment usage of CBT this year, Rufai disclosed that the National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC) candidates are to get ready in advance of 2015 when it will be fully operational.
According to the education Minister, one of the reasons for the e-testing was to ensure 100 per cent elimination of all kinds of examination malpractice which had been the key challenge in the performance of external examinations in the country.
Communication with Vanguard Learning on the matter, the Vice-Chancellor, Bells University, Ota, and Professor Adeyemi Isaac said that the invention of CBT for examinations is an acceptable development in the education sector, and added that, “We are in the era of technology where students are expected to be information communication technology-compliant.”
He, on the other hand, stated that there are some questions need to be answered if the computer-based test is to be operational. “Do we have what it takes nationwide to operate it across board, or do we have to experiment it with selected few in some states?”
According to him, to activate such a project requiring a huge capital investments round the country, there ought to be steady power supply, except there is a substitute means of getting it done.
Again, he advised the Minister of Education to bridge computer literacy gap between students in the village and city, and concluded by saying that a lot of students in public schools are not computer literate because they are not taught how to use the computer. “How many of those students can access the computer? Even when they are taught theory in class, how many of them have computer for practice,” he asked.
Asked if the computer-based test will be 100 per cent free from examination malpractice as stated by the Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufai, he discredited the assertion of complete freedom from examination malpractice, stressing that fraudulent data-base contractors could be hired by unprincipled students who are anxious to pass their examinations.
However, in spite of this constraint, Adeyemi, stated that for it to be unbeaten, the examination board must have about 80 per cent assurance in the person at the database. “I know Professor Ojerinde to be a thorough man who will not give room to laxity,” he added.
Contrary to the belief that CBT will eradicate examination malpractice, Miss Ayo Omalolu, student of University of Lagos said what she experienced last 2 years during post-UTME exposed that CTB will assist malpractice. According to her, “As we were seated at the post-UTME examination hall, I discovered that some of the students stood up within two minutes, indicating they were through with the examinations.
Behind me, I started hearing, ‘I have settled the guy in charge of the database to give 80 per cent.’ With that experience, I strongly believe that this innovation will aid examination malpractice instead of eradicating it.”
Again, a respondent who identified himself as Buje, asked if the Professor knows accurately what he is about to do, saying, he is getting it wrong. “Before introducing such e-testing to students, teach them how to use a computer by adding it to their curriculum before testing them through CBT. How many secondary schools in Nigeria are equipped with computers?” he asked.
Another man who wished to remain anonymous spoke in the same manner, saying, “How can a brilliant student in the most remote part of Nigeria who has never got his hands on a computer due to lack of computers in his remote school and whose parents’ incomes are so meager that they cannot afford to buy him one, be able to take and pass the JAMB examination? Maybe JAMB examination will be for the privileged few,” he added.
Akinlolu Oni made his own contribution by saying that computer-based examination is an acceptable development, but nevertheless added that JAMB ought to make sure that the e-test and pencil-paper for those who may desire it should be conducted concurrently to avoid question leakage.
For Kenneth; “JAMB should be abolished, let each university determine its own method of admission. Nigerian universities produced better graduates before the introduction of JAMB. Although the computerized examination system might be okay, but just scrap JAMB, it is a waste of time and money.”
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