In the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has put a number of measures to curtail fraud in the processes. UJI ABDULLAHI ILIYASU reports that apart from curtailing fraud, the registrar takes into consideration the welfare of his staff.
In order to increase the productivity of his staff through frugal utilization of man-hour, JAMB has established and commissioned its staff canteen. The provision of meals would ensure that the man-hour initially used by staff in going outside for meals is utilised for other essential services as the canteen now provides balanced and healthy meals.
All sectional directors have expressed their appreciation to the present leadership of the board for this benevolent intervention. Similarly, head of media and publicity, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, while expressing his happiness at the taking off of the initiative said, “This gesture is worthy of commendation as it would enhance staff efficiency and improve productivity.”
The sectional heads commended the organisational efficiency of the coordinators of the canteen. They also urged the caterers to sustain the quality of the various dishes being served.
The registrar commended the staff of the different departments of the canteen for effectively managing the large number of staff who throng the canteen. The registrar, who was on the spot shortly before the commencement of meal service, said that a procedure to facilitate a hitch-free feeding and patronage had been worked out to accommodate all staff on a daily basis, and enjoined clients to keep to the mealtime schedules for effective service delivery.
Similarly, the director ofTest Administration, Dr. Yusuf Lawal, was at the canteen to ensure that extant rules governing the operations of the canteen were respected. Meanwhile, a cross-section of the staff lauded the taking-off of the canteen and the tasty meals to be served to them on a daily basis. They said the institution of the meals was a demonstration of the love of the staff by management.
JAMB’s transformations commended
The coordinator, Kogi state office of JAMB, Mr Yisa Usman, during the week hosted the Kogi state chapter of the association of all heads of federal establishments in the state. The meeting was held at the conference room of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) building, Lokoja. The meeting afforded the coordinator the opportunity to present a brief on the activities of JAMB as established in the extant laws. He also highlighted the various transformations in the board under the present registrar, Professor Oloyede. Some of these achievements include the introduction of the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS), partnering with service providers in the conduct of the Computer-Based Test (CBT) and the involvement of critical stakeholders in JAMB activities.
Others are the introduction of the short service code for messaging as an interface between the candidates and the board, profile creation by candidates for data integrity, creation of support tickets to resolve complaints promptly and PIN vending to ease the pains of candidates during registration.
The information was contained in the board’s weekly newsletter, JAMBulletin, which keeps staff and stakeholders abreast of its programmes, policies and projects.
The decentralisation of the board’s activities and subsequent delegation of some levels of authority to zonal/state offices have helped tremendously in the task of validating graduating students’ data before they are mobilised for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.
JAMB has given candidates equal opportunity to further their dreams of acquiring tertiary education with the introduction of Integrated Brochure and Syllabus System (IBASS), a software application designed to create a one-stop access point to courses available in each institution and the requirements for entrance into the various programmes as approved by the regulatory bodies.
Towards conscientious staff
In order to increase staff productivity through spiritual uplift towards a corruption-free service to God and country, members of staff of the board meet every first Monday of the month in its auditorium for Christian staff and in the Mosque for the Muslim faithful to seek God’s intervention in all tasks as well as to invoke divine protection and guidance on the leadership of the board.
In the last month’s edition of the Prayer Session for Christians, according to JAMBulletin made available to Blueprint, the director of special duties, Mrs. Mabel Agbebaku, enjoined the congregation to put their trust in God because God never fails to deliver, and appealed to the congregation to give thanks to God for his manifestations in their lives. She particularly stressed that the positivenews associated with the board from various quarters in recent times was due to the abundance of God’s grace and mercy abiding with the leadership of the board, and called on Christians to always pray for God’s guidance in their journey to greater heights.
In attendance at the monthly prayer session were the officials of the Christian Civil Servants Prays Nigeria, led by the coordinator, Pastor Israel Adeyanju.
Similarly, the chief Imam of the headquarters’ Mosque, Alfa Uthman Miphtau, extolled Allah for His mercies, greatness and might during the monthly prayer. In his sermon, the Imam reiterated the importance of upholding the tenets of Islam particularly theKalimah As-shahadawhich Muslims are enjoined to profess in their hearts and by words.
The Imam urged Muslims to exhibit excellent character which can be demonstrated through kind words, truthfulness, fairness and justice. These, he said, are the best armaments to defend Islam in the face of those who defame it and accuse it of terrorism.
The congregation was also reminded of the importance of praying five times daily as this guarantees a constant reminder of the essence of our creation. He said prayer engages the believer in the remembrance of Allah and keeps him away from any unjust deeds.
The Chief Imam said, “It is through prayer that one really finds inner peace, patience, courage, hope, confidence, stability, equality, unity and expression of thankfulness to Allah.” Finally, he urged the Muslim faithful to respect constituted authority as well as make it a rule to do the right thing at all times.
UTME not group examination
JAMB has stated categorically that the
Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is not school based. It is for individual candidates. However, many elite schools/tutorial classes have formed cartels whose stock-in-trade is the promotion of examination malpractice through employing fraudulent methods to secure ‘high scores’ for their students. These purported high scores are then used as marketing stunts for their schools.
Unlike the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), the UTME is an individual candidate’s examination which has nothing to do with any school or college. However, some schools are in the habit of imposing exorbitant charges on candidates in the name of UTME registration and other illicit services.
Among other nefarious acts perpetrated by these cartels are mismatch of data, fake arrangements to secure high scores, corrupt practices at CBT centres during examinations in conjunction with some unscrupulous centre owners, inducement of examination officials, false assurance of access to live questions and high scores. Others are unlawful access to passwords, emails and profiles of candidates which were then used to solicit illegitimate high scores or perpetrate examination malpractice, seizure of text messages and phones of candidates in order to deny candidates access to their text messages thus missing vital information/notices from JAMB.
In the 2019 UTME, Divine Success CBT centre, Iseyin in Oyo state, was engaged in group registration of students of Federal Government Girls’ College, Ibadan. Also, in Edo state, candidates from various schools were engaged in group registration at the Bishop Gabriel Ghiakhomo Dunia Foundation’s CBT centre, Auchi, Edo state with the help of coordinators from the various boarding schools.
In Plateau state, this practice occurred in Riyom ICT centre. Also former LGA secretariat, Jos, registered students of Nakam Memorial School, Mangu, Plateau state in group.
Another incident of group registration wasreported at Hillside School, Gwarinpa, Abuja, where data of candidates were mixed up after the registration.
Multiple PINS to conceal Auchi, Edo state, over group registration and impersonation were discovered.
To address this, the board has resolved to revalidate all biometrics of candidates that had taken the board’s examinations to fish out these impersonators and prosecute them along with their sponsors.
Similarly, the board has discovered a series of unfortunate and pathetic situations that some of the so-called elite schools had put some candidates in. This was because in their bid to make money, they engaged in group registration after collecting money from unsuspecting parents. Such group registrations end up distorting candidates’ data.
Advice to the public
The public is, therefore, urged to be mindful of unscrupulous elite schools which exploit parents by collecting fees and register candidates in group, more often, at unauthorised centres. The board’s examination is not school-based and therefore, does not require candidates registering in groups.
As such, all candidates desiring to take UTME are required to register individually but not in groups. The board hereby urges elite secondary schools which indulge in collecting money in bulk to register candidates to desist from such acts or be held responsible for any misfortune that befalls candidates who patronise them.
Campaign of calumny
The registrar of the Joint Admissions andMatriculation Board(JAMB), Professor Is’haq Oloyede said the board would not succumb to the various campaigns of calumny by unscrupulous elements in carrying out its legitimate duties.
This is a lofty responsibility as Oloyede’s coming to JAMB, which is responsible for the conduct of common entrance examination to the nation’s higher institutions of learning witnessed unprecedented sanity in terms of revenue generation, management and accountability. All Nigerians should see it as a national duty and rise to support the patriotic gestures of Oloyede.