Despite criticisms trailing the Computer-Based Test in the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, there are indications that the Federal Government will soon adopt the electronic system as standard procedure for all examinations in the country.
The government hinged the plan on what it described “successful conduct of the UTME by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board in over 400 centres across the country.
The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, gave the hint on Thursday, while monitoring the conduct of the UTME in Abuja.
Besides the ease of conducting public examination, the CBT, she said, eliminated all manner of malpractice.
Before now, she noted that examination malpractice as well as difficulties in the transportation of examination materials characterised public examinations in the country.
She said, “I believe that with time, other examination bodies will also try it out and begin to use the CBT system. However, they still have to try it out in different ways to adapt it to their own kind of examinations. Because all of them are not the same thing and their concepts are also not the same.
“There is great optimism that other examining bodies will adopt the CBT model once they have seen this. First, it is fast and by the time they finish their exams in the next two hours, the results are ready. So it removes obstacles or huddles around grading and examining of results and they start getting ready for admission straight away.”
Onwuliri said Nigerian citizens could not afford to lag behind technologically, considering the impact of ICT in the global community.
This, she said, informed the government’s decision to create and reposition the Ministry of Communications Technology.
She said, “Our students are excited and getting involved participating in this e-testing like other young people around the world. It is common knowledge that Nigeria today is a member of the United Nations Security Council representing this continent and it is important that everything we do, we also ensure that the global practice is brought in.
“For the physically challenged, such as the blind students, they have their Braille machine. They are also comfortable that it is a step ahead of what obtained before. So for other examining bodies, I believe that with time having seen the success that JAMB has recorded in this examination, they will key in appropriately once the system have been stabilised because it is actually easy for everybody. We do not have to worry about engaging examiners”.
Meanwhile, the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, said that since the commencement of the examination on March 10, the board had released the results of 895,000 candidates through short message services and e-mail contacts.
He said that the board was working on reducing the number of days for the conduct of the examination across the country. (Punch)