The House of Representatives has rescinded its earlier move to stop the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board from using only Computer-Based Test (CBT) mode in the conduct of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education, Honourable Zakari Mohammed, who spoke on Wednesday, in Abuja, said the lawmakers were convinced based on the brief received from the Board that the CBT was on course.
Mohammed, led other members of the Committee on fact-finding visit to JAMB as well as to supervise the rescheduled examination for candidates who missed the examination in the 2016 UTME as a result of relocation of some Centres and those with critical health problems.
The lawmaker, who stressed that Nigeria could not afford to return to Paper-Pencil -Test also stated that the House of Representatives never took a position on the CBT, adding that suggestions were only made by the House members on finding common ground for the adoption of both Paper Pencil Test and the Computer Based Test as a result of controversies that trailed the conduct of CBT.
He said: “Basically, we need to be educated more, we are in support of the CBT and we cannot go back to paper pencil, we must be intadem with the world in the conduct of our exams.”
“The House did not take any position on CBT, but there were fractions on the floor as to the adoption of both methods and i believe it is the reason why we the House Committee on Basic education was mandated to investigate.”
“Nigeria cannot afford to maintain double standard as we know other African countries such as Uganda have been to our country to replicate our system such as the CBT.”
He acknowledged the hitches in the conduct of the 2016 UTME, saying that in any new process there are bound to be hitches.
He urged parents to be more patient and called for support for JAMB saying that Nigeria cannot afford to be static while the World is moving.
On the rescheduled examination, the JAMB Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde said a total of 2064 candidates accross Nigeria, 393 in the federal Capital territory were expected to resit for the examination.
Ojerinde stated further that only 15 Centers from 24 states were affected among 540 Centers used accross the nation and abroad.
He added that 15 of JAMB staff are currently under investigation over compromise of standard over accrediation process of Centres that defrauded the Board on availability of adequate infracstructure which according to him led to technical problems encountered during the conduct of the 2016 UTME.
The JAMB Boss also stated that the new software introduced to improve on the standard was observed to also contributed to some challenges at tye early stage of the 2016 exams but that the board immediately returned to its previous softwares used in the previous years.
He said: “a commmittee has has been set up to investigate the role of some of our staff about 15 of them who conducted accrediation exercise for some centers and if they are found guilty they risk jail terms”
The Team of the House Committee on Basic Education was led by Honourabl Zakari Mohammed and his deputy, Honourable Emeka Anohu.