UTME scores: Return to pencil-paper examinations, Reps tell JAMB

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The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Federal Ministry of Education to immediately direct the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to return to the former pencil-paper method in conducting examinations for candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions.

The House said “technical flaws” recorded in the latest computer-based Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination had exposed JAMB’s lack of capacity to handle the computer-based tests.

In the alternative, the House directed JAMB to conduct computer-based tests and pencil-paper examinations “simultaneously for candidates to opt for anyone of their choice.”

The resolution was passed after a lawmaker from Lagos State, Mr. Oghene Emma-Egoh, had moved a motion on the “conflicting” scores of candidates who took the examination.

He noted that besides the conflicting scores resulting from the technical flaws, it was obvious that many candidates could not pass the examination for the simple reason that they were not computer-literate.

Emma-Egoh argued that the implication was that the hopes of many intending students had been dashed due to the technical errors and their inability to use computers.

He said, “The House is worried that already, serious admission problem is rocking the nation because JAMB receives huge allocation from the Federal Government, they charge candidates all manner of fees and majority of the candidates do not gain admission because of the technical hitches of the CBT…”

The lawmaker cited the case of one Ibrahim Shawulu from Kogi State, who scored 399 out of 400, “but in less than 24 hours another result surfaced reducing Shawulu’s score to 199.”

In another insurance, he said “Foluke, the 17-year-old girl in Ejigbo-Lagos, scored an aggregate of 156 in the first result, while in the result that later came out, she had an aggregate of 196.”

Emma-Egoh also recalled many reported cases of computers “malfunctioning, leading to outright shut down” and jeopardising the admission chances of the candidates.

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