The Registrar and Chief Executive, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Prof. ’Dibu Ojerinde, on Wednesday, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to offer his Board assistance in curbing myriad of malpractices plaguing the conduct of public examination in Nigeria.
He made the appeal in Abuja during a courtesy visit on the EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde in his office.
Ojerinde said that the most challenging issue confronting JAMB was the issue of examination malpractices.
He explained that though the mandate of JAMB was to conduct credible and valid examinations free of malpractices, the rising spate of sharp practices among candidates sitting for its examinations has become a cause for concern.
He disclosed that, in the last Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, two individuals who designed bathroom sleepers that accommodated handsets to receive answers from outside were arrested.
The sleepers, he said, were designed specially to cheat during the examinations.
“There is this particular case of a woman in Ikirun, Osun State. During the examination, a search was conducted on her and the scanner gave indication that there were foreign metal objects in her body. All entreaties to her to bring out what was on her failed until a woman supervisor had to take her to a closet and undress her only to discover that a handset was prepared just like a pad in her private part.
“It was that bad. If we had not used the scanner, we couldn’t have detected it. Even at that, I am sure there were people that still went away with it,” Ojerinde lamented.
In justifying the collaboration and assistance he sought from EFCC, Ojerinde said that, “We realised that we in JAMB don’t have this special Eagle Eye to detect some of these things. We have come to solicit for your assistance on how we can work together to exterminate this problem,” he said.
He also spoke of plan to introduce e-testing to replace the manual examination conducted by the Board.
The idea, he said, will be introduced gradually as candidates will be allowed the option of paper/pencil examinations or e-testing. “In that way, children will write their examination electronically and at the end, the candidate will submit and the scores will appear immediately and the candidate will go home with his/her scores; but the national standardization will still take place,” he proposed.
He said the Board was still perfecting the idea and working out modalities with the supervising Ministry and relevant agencies.
In his response, the EFCC Chairman appreciated Ojerinde’s visit, saying that his appointment as JAMB Registrar was a confirmation of his leadership qualities.
While describing education as important to both parents and the nation, he lamented a situation where some parents and teachers encourage students to engage in examination malpractices.
“It shows the level at which the value system has deteriorated,” he declared.
Lamorde assured JAMB Board of EFCC’s collaboration.
He said the Commission will always be available to handle any issue referred to it, promising that “we would always intervene not only during examinations, we would also like to beam searchlight on personnel of JAMB to know how the questions get to the candidates.”
The EFCC Chairman also suggested that efforts should be made to de-emphasize paper qualification in Nigeria.
“Even in the western world, there are people who have done wonderfully well without having a university or a polytechnic degree. These people have contributed meaningfully to the society,” he added.
On the entourage of JAMB’s Registrar were Hamzat Balogun, Director of Accounts; Sulayman Y. Muhammad, Director, Corporate Services and Barrister M. S. Ibrahim, JAMB’s Legal Adviser