Again, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has scheduled a mock Computer-Based Test, CBT, for Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination, UTME, candidates on Saturday April 29, 2017, following a failed attempt to conduct a similar exercise earlier in the month.
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said at a Stakeholder’s Workshop in Abuja that about 1600 persons will be deployed to 633 CBT centres across the country to trial-test a new technology on examination delivery during the exercise.
Oloyede, who was miffed by the failure of MTN Nigeria’s network during a trial-test of a similar exercise in Bwari, Abuja, last Monday, called on all partners as well as Nigerians to support JAMB, as the exam body was on course to deliver on its mandate.
“We have invited people from various institutions to join us, various states of the country because JAMB cannot do it alone.
“What we are doing, we are not asking any contractor or any supplier to come and do that, we believe we have the capacity within JAMB to do it. All we have done is to invite some people who have the know-how to come and train us in-house so that we can deliver,” he said.
The JAMB Registrar however clarified that his organisation has not terminated the contract of anybody who is ready to participate along with it such as SIGMAT which is in charge of its biometric verification and would still be used for the forthcoming examination.
He added that JAMB has only renegotiated its contract with the organisation, warning that “where any of the service providers believe that we can be held to ransom, we will say no; and it is only those people that we believe want to continue to extort the country that we have said no to.”
Speaking on the network hitches experienced by JAMB during a trial-test of the technology in ten centres last week, he said the exam body went back to the drawing board because it did not expect failure from one of its partners.
According to him, JAMB has now created multiple redundancies to revert to other networks if one fails, adding that come next Saturday the exam body will do its best.
“Last Monday, we conducted a preliminary mock in 10 centres and it was 99 per cent successful. We tested that technology again and it was working. But it worked because of the cooperation of all of us. Those of you who were in Bwari, on that Monday you know what happened.
“In Bwari last Monday, the day we were to do the trial-testing between 12 o’clock and 4pm, there was no MTN network anywhere in Bwari. We had to switch to Airtel to be able to conduct the examination. We have protested to MTN and we hope MTN will not allow such.
“The reason we were given was that MTN was down, the generator was down, the battery was down the back up was down between 12pm to 4pm.
Oloyed described the breakdown of MTN network as “a very strange coincidence,” stating however that because JAMB anticipated such, it was able to switch to Airtel.
He clarified that the mock exam was completely free, while dismissing media report that students were being charged for the exercise.