The resolve by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to introduce Computer Based Test (CBT) as a way of reducing various problems associated with the conduct of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) examination might still be a long way from success.
According to an investigation by Daily Independent, only one in ten potential candidates that have registered to sit for the 2013 UTME would want to be tested using the computer. The others would prefer to be tested with the old paper and pencil method.
This phenomenon, which cuts across the country, has also been revealed to be most prevalent in Lagos and Ogun State, against popular belief that the two states are top on computer knowledge. for obvious reasons showed that candidates registering for the examination shunned the CBT for the other options as suggested by the board.
As with other technology based solutions being introduced across the country, the CBT for UTME has been a subject of controversy since it was introduced. It is a new examination procedure that is expected to take full effect in 2015, but already Nigerians are showing serious apathy to it, despite the proliferation of computer aided activities in the country.
JAMB registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde at the official introduction of the CBT for the 2013 UTME said it would improve the marking system and effectively produce the raw scores of each candidate after the exam, the same day, noting that the method will reduce the issues of exam malpractice.
Although Jamb is expected to fully computerize the UTME by 2015, the registrar also pointed out that candidates who have a certain phobia for the CBT this year will be allowed to have option of Pen and Paper Test.
According to the Registrar other options available to candidates apart from the CBT are Paper and Pencil Testing (PPT), and the other option where questions would be presented on computers and answers would be on paper.
At a JAMB accredited registration centre at Ifako area of Gbagada, Lagos Operator and Director of Anest Business and Computer Education Centre, Mrs. Ann Iyamah disclosed to Daily Independent that of the about 20 candidates that had registered for the examination non opted for the CBT.
She told Daily Independent that candidates were resolute in their choice of the pencil and paper and Computer Based Testing (CBT) where both questions and answers would be done on computer.
Apparently not surprised at the turn of events, Iyamah said the outright jettisoning of the new method might not be unconnected with candidate’s displeasure and experiences with the method in the hands of universities that adopted the method for admission exercise in 2012 admission.
“I do not blame the candidates because most of the candidates registering for the 2013 examination were spillover and casualties of the 2012 exercise who were the guinea pigs of the newly introduced method for the UTME by universities.
Commending JAMB for the laudable development, she appealed to JAMB to increase public education on the method and also make enough provisions for sound computers for about 2 million candidates expected to register for the examination, noting that the CBT should be introduced in phases for perfection of the processes in order to avoid challenges associated with logistics.
She expressed doubt over the ability of a majority of the candidates to effectively operate a computer not talking of the high intelligence required for the examination, noting that many students educated in rural communities where availability of computers for practical classes would also pose a greater challenge in the smooth conduct of the examination.
The story was not different in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital as prospective candidates were said to have shunned the CBT for the paper test. At Zinox Computers, Ago-Oko Road, a candidate who preferred anonymity
At the head of an advocacy group to Kaduna state recently, JAMB helmsman said the proposed method is for the candidates to write the examination online from 2013, noting that the results of candidates that opted for the new method will be released within 30 minutes after the examination.
Assuring that there would be no power failure during the examination, he said, “From now on, with the use of Computer Based Testing, CBT, candidate will get their result within 30 minutes after the examination. It will also address cases of result black out and examination malpractices will be eliminated.
On the contrary candidates who sat for the CBT examination method deployed by some universities and polytechnic for the 2012 admission exercise said some of the computer assembled by affected institutions was old and sometimes malfunction.
A student who missed university admission exercise in the country, Janet Igbede said her parents are presently perfecting admission process for in Ghana in view of the stringent and porous duplicity of admission tests by local universities, noting that her cousin that sought admission in Ghana excelled at the entrance examination with little stress.
In a reaction, the Vice-Chancellor, Bells University, Ota, Professor Adeyemi Isaac described the method as a welcome development, noting that it is the era of technology where students are expected to be computer literate.
He cautioned the regulatory body and the Federal Ministry of Education on the need for national spread and bridge computer literacy gap between students in the city and rural areas, noting that corrupt data-base personnel could be bought over by students who are desperate to pass their examinations.
Another prospective candidate for the examination, Kelechi Monday, who referred to herself as a veteran, said the introduction of CBT for the examination has again dampened her morale at a time she though the 2013 test will be the last having attempted the examination three times without success in the past.
However, she said if jamb jams her in 2013, she would settle for a part-time programme in a federal polytechnic because age was no longer on her side.
Via : Dailyindependent