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Re: JAMB’s presumptuous computerisation programme

The Board wishes to state here that JAMB has not in any medium or media mandated that all Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates for 2015 MUST write the examination using the Computer Based Test (CBT) mode rather the Registrar Prof Dibu Ojerinde said “that it is hoped that by 2015 CBT will be full blown”.
As regards the issue of electricity, the 2013 CBT was successfully conducted in Nigeria for over sixty thousand candidates. Bearing in mind the environmental limitations in Nigeria, the Board selected CBT centres that are fully equipped with all the necessary facilities that ensured a hitch free CBT.  Are we now going to say because there is poor electric power supply companies that survive mainly on electricity should fold up? Of course not, as they have devised another means of staying in business. Even in our various homes we device another means of getting electrical power and not relying on the Power company Holding of Nigeria (PHCN). We now have generating sets, inverters as well as solar panels which concerts natural solar energy to electrical energy a power generating source which needs to be tapped into.
The assumption that the CBT drive is premature is not right as this dream; made reality as seen in the just concluded 2013 UTME is a step in the right direction. But then pray tell, when, indeed would it be right/mature to start this dream? Should we allow the world to pass us on because we are not “ready” for it? “A journey of a thousand miles they say begins with a step “.  If we are going to wait FOR EVERY STUDENT in Nigeria to be Information Communication Technology (ICT) compliant or for every secondary school in Nigeria to have all the necessary facilities before we can go CBT, then, this country will go where. We shouldn’t wait for school administrators or government alone to set up ICT Centres. Public-private partnership can create such facilities.
We are not unaware of all the limitation in Nigeria but the only way we can move with the global world and compete with our international counterparts is to make efforts despite the various challenges.
If candidates can go to their various selected institution of choice for Post UTME then, what stops them from going to the nearest CBT centres to their various villages?
 JAMB is well aware of cyber crimes and hackers and that is why JAMB has refused to conduct its CBT through the internet rather we use local Area Network (LAN) to be able to control and monitor what goes in and out of the test site.
We all know that it is not an easy task to embrace change but let us not forget that change is permanent and if we refuse to join in the change train we will be left behind and this we at JAMB cannot afford.

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Fabian Benjamin, Head, Public Relations, JAMB <fabbenjamin@gmail.com>;

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