2019 UTME: Exam Ethics Marshal commends JAMB, registrar

The Exam Ethics Marshal International has commended the Registrar, Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede and his team for the successful conduct of the 2019 JAMB examination.

Mr Ike Onyechere, Founding Chairman, Exam Ethics Marshals International, gave the commendation in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that the registrar has done well for putting an end to conspiracy of silence and lip service in the fight against examination malpractice in the country.

“The 2019 JAMB UTME was held from April 11 to April 17, with the result released on May 11 showed that while 1,886, 508 candidates sat for the exams 1,792,719 results were released.

“34,120 results were cancelled for their involvement in exam fraud while 15,145 results are still being clarified.

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“The entire process is a success story in general and in terms of the campaign to eradicate exam malpractice and entrench exam ethics,” he said.

He said Oloyede has demonstrated that the monster of examination malpractice ravaging Nigeria’s education system can effectively be caged if the leadership of Exam Boards summon the courage and political will to confront the challenge.

According to him, JAMB has confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt that exam malpractice is now an organised criminal enterprise orchestrated by full-time professional criminals.

“With members of syndicates embedded in some Ministries, Agencies, Institutions and Examination Boards.

“Exam special (magic) centres masquerading as Schools (duly registered and licensed by State Ministries of Education) are their operational fronts for Secondary School Certificates (SSC) and other exams.

“When JAMB migrated from Paper and Pencil Tests (PPT) to Computer-Based Tests (CBT), they set up cyber cafes and CBT centres as fronts for their JAMB operations.

“For the 2019 exams, 112 of such centres were identified, blacklisted, delisted or suspended by JAMB,” he said.

The chairman explained that exam fraud syndicates and their collaborating parents disguised as public interest, social responsibility commentators and mount media pressure to get JAMB to rescind its decision not to register candidates without biometric verification.

Onyechere said that the registrar has demonstrated strong nerves, the strength of character and supreme self-confidence in resisting the pressure and ensuring that no candidate sat for the exams without biometric verification.

He disclosed that this has enabled JAMB to block the standard operating strategy of the fraudsters of multiple registrations and use of exam mercenaries, adding that 34,120 results were still cancelled for exam fraud.

“When the exam ended on 17th April and JAMB noticed that some fraudsters still penetrated the system, it decided to conduct a meticulous check to fish out the culprits instead of rushing to release the results.

“Again they mounted pressure and the registrar and his team resisted if they have succumbed JAMB would have achieved fleeting praise for the speedy release of results.

“But the exam fraudsters that succeeded in beating the system would not have been identified and credibility and integrity of the results would have been compromised,” he said.

Onyechere said that the integrity of the administration and supervision process of 2019 JAMB exams was improved by engagement of Vice-Chancellors as JAMB Chief External Examiners in various States.

He disclosed that coupled with the use of serving and retired top professionals and directors from public and private sector organisations, it was difficult for the fraudsters to bride their way through this calibre of professionals.

He said that the offer of bribe of N1.7 million cash in one exam centre was reported.

“The use of VCs as Chief External Examiners also restored the confidence of tertiary institutions in the JAMB UTME process.

“Instead of the clamour for post-UTME exams, tertiary institutions now see themselves as partners and co-owners in the JAMB process, it is a master class deployment of the strategy of teamwork”.

The chairman noted that Exam Ethics Marshals have supported the VCs on account of persistent issues of lack of integrity in JAMB exams, which are now being seriously addressed.

He said that the 2019 JAMB UTME has set another important record, adding that 128 fraudsters were arrested during the exams that ended on 17th April.

He said that five of them have already been convicted in Zamfara, Kebbi and other states less than one month after the exams and123 others are standing trial in other states.

“The judicial officers that tried and jailed the culprits in record time deserve the commendation of all patriotic Nigerians; It is also in the public domain that the registrar is not covering up anyone found to have compromised including JAMB staff.

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“UTME 2019 has demonstrated the possibilities in the war against exam malpractice beyond lip service.

“The challenge is huge, complex, systemic and pervasive with almost all categories of stakeholders represented in the line-up of perpetrators at all levels and every sector of education from primary to tertiary,” he said.

He called on Security Agencies, Judiciary, State Governments and Ministries of Education, other Exam boards, Heads of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Institutions, Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff, Parents, Students, and all education stakeholders to work together to combat exam malpractice and entrench exam ethics.

Onyechere said that the success of the war against corruption and crime and the progress of the Nigerian nation depends on rebuilding the collapsed moral foundation and infrastructure of education.

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