By Felix Khanoba
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it recorded only 40 cases of malpractices in the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as against the over 4,000 in previous year.
Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ish-aq Oloyede, who made this known during an oversight visit to the Board by the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education in Abuja, said some security personnel have been nabbed for abetting malpractices in the exam.
Oloyede who presented the 2020 budget performance of the Board to the Committee, said the introduction of National Identification Number (NIN) in UTME registration successfully flushed out ‘fake people ‘ from the exam process as well as curtailed malpractices.
“This year examination malpractice dropped radically from over 4000, 5000 to about 40 and of the 40, not less than 50% of the 40 are traceable to institutions…..
“What we have this year is security agents trying to change candidates after they have been verified. After biometric verification their parents would have paid security agents they will now smuggle him out and smuggle in new person whose finger was not verified, of course the cctv cameras will pick them and that is why we are now arresting the security men, two or three have confessed that I paid N2,000, my mother paid N3,000 to smuggle in a person other than the person (registered for the exam) because they could not go through biometrics,” Oloyede said.
The JAMB boss said the Board would not hesitate to withdraw results of candidates involved in malpractice after thorough viewing of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras deployed for the exam.
On the alleged poor performance by candidates in this year’s exam , Oloyede said UTME is not a certification exam, hence, there cannot be an issue of mass failure.
“Some people don’t know that in the ranking exam there is no pass or fail. You can’t fail it, you are just ranking them because what qualifies candidates for university education is not UTME, what qualifies you is five O level credits so, it is assumed all of them have five O level credits. I give this example; that somebody has a wife and five children and he is going to Lagos for Sallah and he said, oh, all of you are my children, how do I choose those to go with me? Ok, I will set a test for you. The first three will go with me.
“There is no pass mark. Somebody can score 9, the second can score 3, Nigerians will say 3 over 10? As if.., the exam will conduct is one chance exam. One chance exam. What that means is that anything can affect it, if you quarrel with your wife that morning it will affect your performance. In the certification exam you take more than three and there is continuous assessment. They don’t know what assessment is, rather than keep quiet they will be fouling the environment with ignorance,” he said.
Speaking further on the results, the JAMB boss said “When we released the last results those who are making noise are the proprietors of schools and tutorial masters because of the money they have collected from the parents and their ability in the past to cut corners and get inflated results for people.
” We are blocking them and thanks to the Federal Government. The introduction of NIN really helped. Many people were making noise saying the introduction of NIN will put people under pressure, that thousands would not be registered.
” To show the statistics, after we have finished with the old (normal registration), we opened the new one, we said everybody who had not be able to take our forms due to NIN come and register, bring a draft of N4000 so that we don’t just make fake people to come around and they came.
“All of them were about 36,000, who were deprived because of NIN, but the gain for the country is better than 36, 000 that were not registered because of the fake number we were having.
” Last year we registered 2.2 million, yes it is money for JAMB but that is not the type of money a nation needs,” adding that only close to 1. 4 million candidates registered for this year’s exam because of the NIN which prevented dubious registration.
Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on basic and secondary education, Akon Eyakenyi, who led the team to JAMB, expressed delight and satisfaction with the report presented by Oloyede, especially in the area of the Board’s expenditure and seamless conduct of UTME.
On some of the issues raised by the Board, the committee promised to ensure an amendment of JAMB Act to prohibit regularisation of illegal admission and prescribe a minimum age that must be attained by a candidate before gaining entry into the university system.