Daily Trust (Abuja)

6 February 2013

Nigeria: Reps Suspend Jamb's E-Test, Summons Education Minister

The House of Representatives yesterday summoned Minister of Education Professor Rukayyatu Rufai over the planned conduct of computer based test for the 2013 unified tertiary matriculation examination by the Joint Admission Matriculation and Examination Board (JAMB).

Adopting a motion on matters of urgent public importance sponsored by Rep. Ali Madaki (PDP, Kano), the House directed the education ministry and JAMB to suspend the computer based test planned for April this year and revert back to the use of old existing centres and the new secondary schools constructed by various arms of government and allow for more time to equip these schools with necessary infrastructure conduct computer test.

The House also summoned Rukayyatu and the JAMB Registrar to appear before the House committee on education to among other things explain the "reason behind the policy somersault that led to change in takes off of the policy from 2015 to 2013; the law that empowers JAMB to contract out the conduct of examination to private firms? And who are these firms." In his motion, Rep. Madaki said that JAMB had fixed the year 2015 as the terminal year to end its paper and pencil based examination as stated by the minister Professor Rukayyatu Rufa'i in November 2012 but "JAMB has now somersaulted and resolves to start computer based test on 27th April 2013."

He argued that "the vexed question is how many secondary schools are equipped with computers. Alarmed there is no clear cut modus operandi for the computer based test method because JAMB itself lacks the competence and facilities to conduct the examinations, hence JAMB has contracted private firm to conduct the computer based test (CBT)?

According to him, "the ripples effect has led massive reduction of examination centres despite increased in schools, closure of several registration centres in states like Bauchi, Bayelsa, Kano, Benue, Cross Rivers, FCT, Kaduna, Katsina thereby leading to the disfranchisement of many candidates that would have take the exams."

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