The decision by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to regulate the registration procedures of 2015 Unified Matriculation Examination (UTME), has not been a palatable news and has hitherto attracted protests from cyber café operators who accused the Board of stifling employment opportunities and promoting fraud in the admission exercise. Kuni Tyessi writes.
JAMB Registration will no longer be done at Cyber Cafes!
The Cyber café operators in their protest against the decision by JAMB to standardize the UTME registration exercise for 2015 said they were marginalized by that decision and are currently threatened by massive unemployment as their activities have been taken over by the few that were favoured in the deal.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the Board had resolved to implement full blown computer-Based Test in the 2015 UTME and had consequently fine-tuned arrangements with selected CBT centers nationwide to register prospective UTME candidates.
But the cafe protesters said the decision by JAMB would breed corruption in the examination system as well as send them out of their jobs. They further accused the examination body of attempting to use the CBT centers to create a cartel to exploit candidates.
Cyber Cafes are Protesting to this Decision By Jamb!They wondered how the Board intended to carter for the large number of prospective candidates with only 300 CBT centers across the federation. They insisted that JAMB was creating room for manipulation as most of the candidates would end up writing their exams in the CBT centers.
A representative of the cyber café operators, Obi Stephen, said the body was wrong to exclude café operators in the registration. He said, “We fault the decision of JAMB to shut us out of business.
He said “JAMB is now asking candidates to register where they will want to write their exams. That is legalizing corruption and reducing the standard of education in Nigeria.
Also, Adewale Adeniyi, another protester, lamented that the CBT centers were not accessible to candidates, adding that he was asked to go to a far distance to be able to register his child for the exam. He called on the Board to review the decision.
The Registration fee @ the ICT Centres Remains N700 Only.However, a parent Mr Danladi Azaba, commended the Board over its boldness to take this step. He said in the last exercise he registered two of his children and paid 1500 Naira for each of them even when he was aware the Board had set 700 as the highest amount yet their passport was mixed up and the could not write the examination as the cafe used a different passport for them hence they were suspected to be impersonating. He said i have now registered them for 2015 exercise and was charged only 700 on each of them as required by the Board. I think the Board should be allowed to sensitize the system.
Reacting to the protests, the public Relations Officer of JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, said the Board’s policy is to sanitize the examination process to eliminate all forms of malpractice.
He dismissed the argument that the decision will breed corruption and unemployment and accused café operators of collaborating with candidates and operators to perpetrate fraud. In fact the new regime will create more jobs and better the system he said.
“It is about sanitizing the process to eliminate malpractice, especially impersonation, which the café operators have been found culpable.
“The conditions to operate a CBT centre which allows your to register candidates is more stringent and will enable us to effectively monitor the entire process,” he said.
The JAMB spokesman further assured that the Board has over time worked round the clock to ensure that its examination meets international best practices, a determination that has spurred it to make a number of innovations, thus placing it at a vantage position where other examination bodies troop in to benchmark on its success.
As we speak the Registrar is in CITO, the Netherlands with some staff of the Board on their invitation to benchmark with the Board on its success.
Not a few stakeholders have rejected the argument put forward by the cyber cafe operators as they believe the conduct of any credible examination must begin with a credible registration process hence the need for a regulated exercise.
Given the obvious short comings experienced by the candidates while patronizing the cyber cafes over the years in the areas of impersonation, multiple registration and other vices associated with examination malpractice, sanitizing the entire process in preparation for a full blown CBT exercise appears the best way forward
The newly introduced regulated system, it is believed, will create more quality jobs as each of the centers have a capacity of over 150 terminals with some having over a thousand terminals. Most of the protesting cafes might be the itinerant ones that operate under make shift locations who when put together does not have what one CBT centre has and have no capacity to engender multiple employment opportunities.
The Exercise will Create Job OpportunitiesFrom every indication the policy on computer based Test (CBT) and regulated registration exercise which the Board said will create over a million direct and indirect job opportunities deserve the support of all and sundry and a chance to succeed rather than being vilified. It might make the system better and acceptable irrespective of who’s interest it affects. We must be ready to pay certain price or make sacrifice if this nation must move forward. Education has suffered so much condemnation in Nigeria and now that an agency of government is determined to address the challenge, it only behoves on us to corporate with it and not allow those that are benefiting from the rot to sentimental mislead us.
For any ICT center to participate in the Jamb Registration exercise it must reach a certain criteriaContrary to the misconception by the cyber café operators the regulated exercise is not designed to favour anybody or section of the country. It’s a system designed with certain criteria that are seen to protect and sustain the sanctity of public examination and whoever meets this condition will certainly be allowed to participate. The clamor for the Board to water down the requirements in the interest of quantity of centers should therefore be seen as grossly dis service to education and the nation.
The regulated registration exercise dose not in any way confer any advantage on any candidate as candidates only choose their examination town during registration and their centres are randomly selected by the Board.
source: @ LeadershipNGA