• The recently concluded Computer Based Test (CBT) by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in the over 300 centres across the country is a pointer that in the next few years the lost glory of tertiary education in Nigeria will be restored.

    It is also a pointer that if the tempo is sustained and improved upon Nigeria’s educational system will soon be at par with other nations and also be at par with them in terms of global best practices. In the recent past, the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) has been characterised by myriad of problems including examination malpractice, delayed results, missing results and outright cancellation of exams due to irregularities.

    These irregularities have over the years impacted on the quality of students being admitted into universities and other higher institutions in the country.

    Also Read:>> How To Check Latest JAMB CBT Result Free

    Advancing reasons for the use of CBT in a recent interview with journalists, the Chairman of JAMB’s Governing Board, Mr Peter Eze had said the effort was sequel to the agency’s determination to introduce innovations aimed at ensuring the proper implementation of the education policies in order to better the lot of UTME candidates.

    He said: “Our determination to embrace this all-encompassing mode of examination is to place Nigeria’s education system at par with global best practices”, arguing that “CBT has the solution to all the challenges facing public examination.”

    The CBT UTME introduced by JAMB under the leadership of Prof. Dibu Ojerinde has been hailed for changing the face and even the perception of public examination in Nigeria. The innovation had been first test run in 2013 alongside the Paper-Based Test (PBT).

    However, there was anxiety on the part of both the students and their parents/guardians as to whether the system was going to work or not and the consequence of the CBT on the exam results. Nevertheless, the test went well. Following the successes recorded in 2013 the examination body decided to make the just concluded 2015 UTME all CBT based.

    Speaking with journalists during the recently concluded CBT, Ojerinde said the CBT was introduced as a panacea to the perennial challenges associated with the PBT. He explained that the CBT mode of examination had the potential of curbing almost all forms and manifestation of examination malpractices including corruption.

    He explained that the CBT was introduced by JAMB “to bring sanity to the education sector and curb the hydra-dreaded problem of incomplete results, while solving the lingering challenges of missing scripts and other similar complaints often expressed by candidates in the past. According to him, “the paperless test facilitates prompt release of raw scores and greater standardisation of test administration even as it also “eliminates high cost of logistics and hectic planning for the examination.”

    Stakeholders in the education sector noted that the CBT has brought efficiency, integrity and credibility to the UTME process. They argued that the computer-based verification of candidates has completely made impersonation impossible as well as eliminated other forms of exam http://genericsing.com malpractices including exchanging answer sheets.

    A senior lecturer at the College of Education Akwanga, Dr. Amin Zaigi, criticised the blanket use of CBT in all the schools even when the much needed infrastructure was lacking. He said that while he supported computer based tests, JAMB should have understood that not all students are computer literate, arguing that by forcing such students to take the CBT “you have already prepared them to fail.” He argued that a good number of students in the rural areas neither know how to use computers nor do they have access to computers.

    “This computer based examination is basically for the privileged children who are schooling in private schools or in the urban areas. But the bulk of the students who are in rural areas have never seen a computer in their lives and how do you expect them to write and pass such examinations? If we want to do such things, it should be done gradually. I think JAMB has gone too fast, they could have extended this over time and add more schools over time.

    “If they use 10 schools this year, they should use 20 next year and tell the schools ahead of time that your school is going to participate in the computer based examination and gradually develop like that before they make it uniform. But some children who have never seen a computer, then you take them to go and write such test? I think it is not right,” he argued. He advised that the implementation of CBT should be gradual.

    On his part, a lecturer with Banckok University, in Karu, Nasarawa State, Onobe Melchizedec, applauded JAMB for introducing the CBT arguing that the world is gravitating to computer based education and that Nigeria must not be left behind.

    Earlier, Ojerinde argued that following the successful elimination of the CBT that the Post UMTE introduced by universities because of their lack of confidence and trust in the JAMB will soon be scraped. “With time, post UTME will be a thing of the past. The Post UTME is there because people doubt the scores. But there is no need to doubt the scores now because we know it is genuine. The introduction of the Computer-Based Test has reduced the level of leakages of exam papers. Anybody who goes out and says these are the questions they will ask me and that person believes that he is going in to meet the same kind of questions in the exam hall will be disappointed,” he stressed.

    Nevertheless, keen observers still argue that more efforts should be put into addressing some of the identified lapses observed in the 2015 CBT before the next edition.
    Culled from Daily Independent Newspaper

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