Joan Eregare, Lagos
Operators of Computer-Based Test (CBT) Centres in Lagos have pulled out of national body Computer-Based Test Centres Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (CPAN), saying that the recent attack by CPAN President Mr Maxwell Akwuruoha lacks basis as, according to them, the 2019 Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board Examination (JAMB) was run excellently.
Speaking on behalf of the group Wednesday, November 20, at a press conference held in Lagos, Director, Universal White Hall CBT Centre, Yaba, Lagos, Ogedengbe Alexander, who made reference to a publication that said the failure of biometrics and browsers provided by the JAMB for the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) was responsible for the inability of some candidates to sit for the examination, pointed out that CBT operators in Lagos are not part of the group.
“We hereby state categorically that the CBT operators in Lagos State are not part of the group, we are not aware of the conference, hence we dissociate ourselves entirely from the publication,” said Ogedengbe.
“The current CPAN executives are occupied by most people who do not have centres and by consequence should not be part of the association. The person who called for the conference didn’t participate in the exam, therefore can’t access it. To be specific on the issue raised, the biometrics of the candidates on the conduct of the 2019 UTME examination, to our knowledge, the rule of biometrics was very clear as stipulated by the examination board, JAMB. For candidates who cannot be captured directly by the biometric scanning machine, JAMB provided an alternative to write the examination. According to them, such a case, including the details of the candidates, should be reported to the Board immediately.”
According to him, the instruction from JAMB stated categorically that a day was scheduled for the candidates for the examination. “Moreover, we the CBT operators, have no jurisdiction over the biometrics of the candidates. The officer saddled with the responsibilities, to our knowledge, discharged the duties reasonably. We see the attack as blackmail.”
Ogedengbe also said that the examination browser used was of international standard.
“According to JAMB, the security of the examination is paramount to them, hence they have the right to decide and to deploy the type of browser needed to achieve their objectives. The Board sent information to all the centres to delete the old browser and download the new browser meant for the 2019 examination. The challenges arose at the centres that did not comply with these instructions or where the specifications of the system were not met. The timeline given to us was indeed short but the Board explained the reason for the short time, which has to do with the security of the examination,” he said.
Also speaking at the event on the issue of examination malpractices, the Director, Brain Point College, Austin Chinedu Ohaekele, pointed out that the act was alien to Lagos CBT centres.
“We detest it, we hate it and we refuse to be identified with it in Lagos. This singular objective of conducting examinations without malpractices has been the major objective of Professor Is’haq Oloyede and his Board since his appointment as the Registrar JAMB. He has brought sanity to the UTME. We in Lagos have not witnessed any act by the Board to compromise the examination, the same way CBT operators have tried to ensure that we are hundred percent aligned to the objectives of the Board,” he said.
“On the issue of N600 revenue to the centre per candidate, CBT owners have made a good representation of the Registrar. He paid the participating CBT centres a sum of N1,000 against N600 per candidate in the last recruitment examination in June 2019. This is an indication that he is already considering our request positively. Without any prejudice to the Registrar, he always holds a meeting with all CBT operators to intimate us of his new plans for UTME in the following year, hence we dissociate ourselves from such publication,” he concluded