It was gathered that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it will not compromise the standard of its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME), irrespective of pressures from any quarters.
Dr Fabian Benjamin, the board’s Head of the Media and Information, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
NAN reports that the board registered over 1.8 million candidates for the on-going 2016 UTME, which started on Feb. 27.
Benjamin said that the conduct of the examination, which ends on March 19, had so far been successful, despite few technical hitches recorded in some centres.
According to him, some persons, despite the board’s efforts in ensuring standard and global best practices in the conduct of its examination, are working hard to destroy it.
“Our examinations conducted on the Computer Based Test (CBT) platform are meant to be carried out only in centres with the full complement of all indices needed for the success of the examination.
“We are worried by plans by a faceless group, under the aegis of education consultants, to stage a protest in Lagos over some challenges encountered in the conduct of the ongoing examination.
“We believe that this group of people are biased as they are owners of some of the examination centres that were lacking basic facilities for the successful conduct of our CBT,’’ he said.
According to him, the board had approved centres provided by these individuals to be used for the 2016 exercise.
He regretted that some of the centres were, however, unusable as most of the computers and other backup facilities provided were faulty.
Benjamin said that the development caused a major challenge in the conduct of the examination but for the timely intervention of the officials of the board that were on ground.
He said that the development was later discussed with the owners of the centres and they showed understanding as they also witnessed the difficulties the board went through.
“It is therefore surprising that these same persons will turn around and try to organise candidates to protest over our activities.
“We are not perfect as an organisation but we are working hard to ensure that the Nigerian education system is better than it is.
“We have taken the risk to do the unthinkable so as to change the paradigm,’’ he said.
Benjamin urged Nigerian youths not to allow themselves to be used by these persons to achieve their selfish motives.
“The board is calling for calm and advises candidates to go about their examinations without any fear of molestation.
“We also want these candidates to always avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the board, through it public complaints unit, to vent their grievances.
“They must not allow blackmailers to use them for any selfish interest.
“We will continue to appeal to all stakeholders to encourage and support us in order to give them one of the best CBTs globally.
“It is no longer news that the worst CBT is far better than the best Paper and Pencil Test.
“We will continue to show leadership in the conduct of public examination in Africa and beyond,’’ Benjamin said.
He advised candidates with genuine complaints not to hesitate to visit to the board’s offices nationwide for prompt attention.