The JAMB Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde at the week-end in itemized ways and methods of how candidates at examination halls were cheating and how the body was stemming the bad habits with full Information Technology.
Professor Ojerinde was a Guest Speaker at the ICPC Good Governance Forum in Abuja.
For nearly two hours, the JAMB chief executive officer told the audience at the ICPC auditorium, how the biometrics platform was designed to completely shut out any form of manipulation in the registration process.
He said the platform, using biometrics of examination candidates, had been able to ensure that machines could be hired to write examinations for candidates.
“The system generates up to fifteen million questions on the same subject, thereby helping to ensure that nearly all candidates in the same centre have different questions on the same subject.” He said.
Other issues such as faking of admission letters Prof Ojerinde said had been checked through the issuance of electronic admission letters and embossment of same with photos of the candidates that had been offered provisional admission.
” In cases where examination malpractice practitioners have used business centres to superimpose another photo on an admission letter, such is checked by verifying from a comprehensive manual which has earlier been sent to the schools.
“The candidates do not have access tot his manual. It is sent only to the schools. Admission letters presented by candidates are verified using this manual before the candidate is registered in the school. But some schools do not use this manual for whatever reason; and that is where we will need the help of the ICPC”, professor Ojerinde said.
As part of the success story of JAMB, Professor Ojerinde stated that the examinations for universities, polytechnics and colleges of education were unified because all the candidates have the same background in terms of the subjects offered in secondary schools.
” This unification, according to him, saves cost of conducting the different examinations. As a result, there has been an increase in enrolment. The introduction of the computer based tests, according to him, has grossly eliminated incidences of malpractice since each candidate has a different question and only have to interact with the computer. This method, he said is now adopted by other examination bodies” he stated.
Speaking further on the theme, “Good Governance, Accountability and Transformation: The JAMB Experience”,
Ojerinde noted that in the past, everybody with the institution contributed to examination malpractices and leakage of question papers, from the secretariat staff to cleaners, computer operators, clerical staff, messengers, schedule officers, typists, proof readers, editors and scanner operators.
The new system he said had shut all of these officers out of the process, including himself, the chief executive; leaving the process to a select few officers who were isolated for the period of preparing the questions and writing the exams.
“During this period, they do not have access to their phones for 38 days, they do not have access to their families and the outside world but they are well taken care of”, Ojerinde said.
Speaking further on the integrity of JAMB examinations, he stated that in the future, the eyes would be used as part of the biometric details to screen candidates and further stamp out malpractices.” In such a case, if the candidate sitting on the computer is not the right candidate, the questions will not appear on the system.”
On how it is possible to come up with 98,000 results two hours after the exam ; and 617,000 results in five days, after writing the exam, Professor Ojerinde explained that the examination body had 26 scanners ; one of which works on 15,000 scripts per day running three shifts. The 26 machines works on 390,000 scripts altogether in a day, hence, the ability to produce the results within minimum time frame. “Releasing results in very short time reduces the possibility of manipulation”, he said.
Meanwhile, other agencies urged to also emulate JAMB are National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), NCCE, National Population commission (NPC), National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) and NABTEP.
Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Barr. Ekpo Nta who expressed delight at the success of JAMB, stated that only institutional changes could stamp out corruption in Nigeria, and not necessarily mass arrest.
He commended JAMB and other institutions that have already started putting in place their own methods of checking corruption, adding that with this attitude, the corruption issue will soon be a thing of the past in Nigeria.
“Professor Ojerinde was invited to the platform for who he is and for the value he is bringing to the institution of JAMB, he salvaged the battered image of admission into tertiary institutions, introducing information technology into the UMTE examinination, for integrity and accountability. He restored confidence in the examination. There is usually a rigorous selection process at the board level before any speaker is selected; and on this platform, we hope to build a society where corruption is an exception rather than the norm”, he said.