Chris Steven, Abuja
The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations for Transparency on Governance has hailed the management of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, over the successful conduct of the recent Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.
CCSOTG subsequently conferred the title of ‘IDEAL CHANGE AGENT’ on JAMB Registrar, Ishaq Oleyede for the well-conduct of the examination.
The highly revered group, which mission is to hold government and government agencies accountable by making sure they affect their abilities and deliver their mandates to the public, noted that after monitoring the exercise, it concluded that the Oleyede-board has done well.
CCSOTG said its action became imperative following the recent reform process in the sector, which attracted divided opinions from the general public on its impact for the selection of undergraduates.
The group said, after monitoring the exercise, it discovered that JAMB should be given more kudos than knocks.
“You will agree that this was imperative given the conflicting positions being stated by various stakeholders. It was therefore necessary that the coalition places itself in vantage position to be able to speak to facts.
“We therefore leveraged on our wide network to do on the ground monitoring of the examination. This of course was after we had dedicatedly followed the processes leading to the exercise itself. The aftermath of the examination, which included the release of results were also closely watched,” Sabo Odeh Executive Director/Convener of the organization made this known at a press conference held in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Odeh, after observing the Computer Based Test UTME, which JAMB monitored through closed circuit television (CCTV) in addition to other traditional assurance system, observed that despite the best efforts of JAMB, organization of the examination experienced some hitches.
He observed that lapses were however externally motivated to an extent that the Board had limited wiggle room to influence them otherwise.
Odeh said the CBT Centres would still have to do more to meet the standards demanded by JAMB.
He said, “Since these are businesses that deploy their facilities for other uses, the burden is on them to upgrade as necessary since they are not offering their services for free. Our suggestion is that JAMB should explore new partnerships with a view to delisting centres that have proven problematic.”
The group’s convener also observed that the board needed to improve on broadband connectivity, which he said some critics noted that the “connectivity was a critical issue in the conduct of the examination. Unfortunately, this is a national issue that requires further investment in broadband infrastructure by telecommunications companies.
He also cited the instance of computer literacy where, “some candidates did not have computer literacy skill on the level to allow them comfortably write the examination. Such candidates do not however constitute the majority. Our recommendation is for JAMB to work with the relevant stakeholders to boost the computer literacy of secondary school students so that they would have become capable at the point of writing the examination.”
Despite all the hitches, the group confirmed that, “conduct of the UTME was orderly, conformed with best standards at most parameters, and is commendable. Instances of malpractices were however recorded at centres where people colluded to cover the cameras with hoods.”
It also hailed JAMB for the timely release of results of candidates, which has justified the innovations put in place by JAMB
It also suggested that JAMB should consider a-three-year ban for both candidates and centres implicated in malpractices. The push to reform our nation should be grounded in the education sector.
“Having duly considered the organization of the UTME, its conduct and results that reflect the reality of the Nigerian situation, we have resolved to award the Registrar of JAMB, Ishaq Oleyede with one of our most prestigious honour.
We hereby confer on Professor Oloyede the honour of IDEAL CHANGE AGENT. This is even more so as he has, of all the President’s appointees, demonstrated uncommon leadership qualities and commitment within the shortest period of his appointment.”