18 March 2016

Nigeria: House Wants JAMB to Make CBT Optional

Abuja — The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) to consider making its Computer Based Test (CBT) optional to allow candidates elect to take the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) as Paper Pencil Test (PPT).

The House noted that it was necessary to discontinue the sole option of the CBT, until a time when the examination body is able to conduct the examination effectively.

The lawmakers adopted this position in the wake of the controversies that followed the conduct of the 2016 UTME, following technical hitches.

The House also called on the Federal Ministry of Education to direct JAMB to reconsider its position on the CBT.

Hon. Oghene Egoh (Lagos PDP) in a motion sponsored as matter of urgent national importance, said candidates were put at a disadvantaged position when the computers malfunctioned, and some suddenly short down.

"There were instances of double option answers... candidates are getting conflicting scores in the ongoing JAMB CBT, dashing the hope of many candidates that are seeking admission into pieces," he said.

Hon. Sunday Adepoju (Oyo APC) said many of the students, particularly those from the villages, failed the exams because they were not computer literate.

Some lawmakers called for a scrap of the CBT, while several opposed it.

Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and Hon. Zakari Mohammed argued that the country would never move forward if every programme or initiative is scrapped due to hitches experienced in their implementations.

In another development, the House also directed its Committees on Banking and Federal Character to investigate the alleged recruitment of 909 staff by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) into various cadres, without recourse to due process.

The resolution of the House followed a motion sponsored by Hon. Aliyu Madaki (Kano APC) who noted that the recruitment exercise has generated negative reactions from several sections of the country with accusations of lopsidedness, lack of adherence to the principle of federal character, equity and justice.

Madaki expressed concern that the recruitment exercise was done secretly without due advertisement carried out.

"Sometimes last year when members of the public got wind of the secret recruitment exercise, the CBN came out and outrightly denied any such recruitment or plan to recruit," he said.


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