… Accuses operators of extortion
As against its previous practice, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said it will no longer use cyber cafes for registration of candidates.
JAMB’s Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, who made this known Thursday on the sideline of a meeting with proprietors of Computer Based Test (CBT) centres at the University of Lagos, said the new policy will take effect beginning from the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
“We are no longer going to allow the cyber cafes to do the registration exercise for prospective candidates because they are extorting candidates and overcharging them.
“They also do services they do not have the capacity to do, coupled with the fact that there was no way of tracking them because they were not registered.
“Another major reason is the mix-up they create on the data of the candidates. Some will just ask the candidates to write their names and other details down for them.
“On accumulating such data, they now get all of them mixed-up, thereby creating problems for these candidates.
“We know there will be uproar because they make a lot of illegitimate money from these services, but we cannot leave the candidates at their mercy.
“Particularly when people will make noise that it is JAMB that was extorting them,’’ he said.
The professor urged all prospective candidates to register and access the board’s major services in any of its 718 accredited centres in the country, saying the board would commence the sale of the registration form on Jan.3, 2019 and would span six weeks.
Oloyede assured that the general elections would not affect the sale of forms, adding that the board had adjusted its examination schedule ahead of the election.
“We thank INEC for giving us an early notice and so, it is expected that the exercise will be hitch-free,’’ he said.
While addressing the CBT proprietors, Oloyede warned that the board would not tolerate any JAMB-related materials in all the centres, especially question papers, as most often turned out to be fake, thereby duping innocent candidates.
He threatened that JAMB would also not hesitate to blacklist any centre that attempted to undermine the integrity of its examination through infractions.
“JAMB will continue to partner with you, empower good CBT centres to do things properly, as all essential services will henceforth be done by our good CBT centres.
“But to whom much is given, much is expected and so as we restrict services to you, you will be rewarded accordingly.
“But that does not stop there, as we will also beam our searchlight by tracking you also, to ensure that you remain in the right track,’’ the registrar said.
He noted that make-shift CBT centres too would not be allowed, adding that the board normally conducted an all year round examination for parastatals and agencies, and candidates for tertiary institutions.
“Do not pack up your centres and convert it to another thing, after the UTME, because we can come at any time for inspection,’’ he said.
Oloyede said that all the CBT centres must ensure that the dual screen registration process was followed strictly and ensure that candidates sign out by doing a thumb print that would ensure that data was uploaded and printed.
The registrar disclosed that the board was already considering the introduction of a new technology for smooth conduct of the examination for such visually impaired candidates.
“Next week, some of our officials will be in the United Kingdom where all the assessment bodies, who are attending to the blind, will meet.
“They will meet with a view to finding the best technology to use for these special candidates at a better price, because of the exchange rate.
“However, those with Braille machines, they are available; we will give them and those who do not have, we want to encourage them, whatever best method available to us, we will deploy because we want to be as inclusive as possible.
“That is also why we have set up a committee of experts under Prof. Peter Okebukola, to look for all-inclusive methods to be able to attend and bend it to suit the purposes of all these peculiar candidates,’’ he said.