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Joint Admission And Matriculation Board And Nigeria's Mock Federalism: - Politics - Nairaland

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Joint Admission And Matriculation Board And Nigeria's Mock Federalism: by mecedonia(m): 4:58pm On Jun 26, 2017
JOINT ADMISSION AND MATRICULATION BOARD AND NIGERIA'S MOCK FEDERALISM:
BY SIR DON UBANI; KSC, JP
OKWUBUNKA OF ASA
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
CENTRE FOR EQUITY AND ERADICATION OF RURAL POVERTY
26TH JUNE, 2017.

It has become stale news that the Joint Admissions And Matriculation Board, JAMB, conducted it's Computer Based Test of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination between May 13 and 20 2017.

According to reports, this year's examination set an unprecedented record in the thirty-nine years of existence of JAMB by registering about one million and seven hundred thousand candidates.

The dream of every average Nigerian Secondary School leaver is to acquire higher education. It should, therefore, not be a surprise that in only one year, up to such figure could register for the UTME.

Just by way of retrospection, let me state that the Joint Admissions And Matriculation Board was established in 1978 by the General Olusegun Obasanjo Military administration. The establishment came through the instrumentality of Act No 2 of 1978.

By 1989, the Act was was amended to become Decree No 33 of that year. Sequel to the said amendment, the Board was given a wider responsibility of conducting entrance examination into both public and private Monotecnics, Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities.

JAMB, we are told, has three criteria for determining eligibility for admission. They include; Merit, Catchment Area and Educationally-Backward Area.

May be, believing that it would confer on it a feeling of accomplishment, JAMB introduced what it calls Computer Based Test, CBT about 2013.

CBT, as many would agree, should, under normal circumstances, be accepted as a welcome innovation. This is because it engages a candidate strictly in a sense of individuality and accountable performance. The only communication that is systematically expected to take place while the examination is on is that between the candidate and the computer. It is expected to minimize indiscipline in examination.

Like I had earlier observed, this development can only operate idealistically successfully where the system had equally systematically been made technically and conduceively operational.

In an earlier write-up sometime in May this year, following nation-wide complaints of frustration by JAMB candidates, I had said that a situation where many candidates had not had any thing to do with the computer in their life and suddenly they find themselves sitting before one for an engagement that will make or mar their future was not the best for a generation we ridiculously refer to as our 'future hope'.

Few individuals had criticized my position then. A summary of their opinion was that the world has already been globalized and, so, our children should have no excuse not to fit into the modern trend.

In as much as I am conscious and even appreciative of globalization, I also strongly hold the opinion that our children should not be forced as sacrificial lambs due to the recklessness of our corrupt and inefficient leadership.

Our children in the rural areas who spend twelve years in both primary and secondary schools without coming into contact with the computer become dysfunctional, for no fault of theirs, once asked to answer JAMB questions, making use of the computer.

For 2017/18 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination alone, JAMB is reported to have cancelled results of not less than seventy-two centres across seventeen States in the country.

In Abia State, 13 centres were cancelled, 6 in Akwa -Ibom, Anambra 9, Bauchi 2, Bayelsa 2, Benue 3, Cross River 1, Delta 6, Edo 1, Enugu 3, FCT 2, Gombe 2, Imo 6, Kaduna 1, Kogi 1, Lagos 2, Niger 1, Ogun 1 and Rivers 10.

The report gave two purported reasons for the cancellations. Gross Technical Malfunction of Computers and Gross Malpractice by Candidates were said to be the reasons for which the fate of about 59,698 Nigerian youths has been forced to hang in the balance.

As long as Centre For Equity And Eradication Of Rural Poverty is concerned, these reasons are frivolous and porous. Let us begin with 'Gross Technical Malfunction'. Is it the responsibility of candidates to determine the functionality of Computers in a Computer Centre deliberately chosen by JAMB without their knowledge? If a passenger pays and boards a bus in a Transport Company's Station and on the road the bus breaks, should the Management of the Company shift the blame to the innocent passenger?

On the second reason of 'Gross Malpractice', what is the essence of supervision in an examination? In contemporary Nigerian society where leadership arises or grows from corruption, it would be utopian to think that in an Examination Centre where there are more than fifty candidates between ten and twenty or even more would not manifest traits that our leaders have employed to keep Nigeria where it is today.

Even at that, there must have been candidates who are not only brilliant but also had read voraciously in order to pass very well in the examination. This is where supervision counts. Such hard-working students should not have been lumped into a blanket basket of inconsiderate cancellation because of the activities of others.

In life, it is expected that every body should bear his or her cross. The worst frustration an individual does not pray to suffer is victimization as a result of the sin of another person.

For those of us who strongly advocate a rethink on the use of Computer Based Test by JAMB, our reasons are many. The first is that our children in rural schools are hardly taught computer operation. To complicate their handicap, their parents are victims of corrupt leadership in Nigeria and, so, rank among the most wretched of the earth and are, therefore, incapable of sponsoring their children for training in computer.

Insufficient number of Computers in the so-called Centres negates the whole essence of Computer Based Test. In a situation where JAMB allocates about a hundred candidates to a centre that has less than eighty computers, including some that may be malfunctional, what do we think would be the fate of those who could not be assigned to a computer, taking into consideration that the exercise is strictly regulated by time?

For a Computer Based Test to be efficient and reliable, there must be stability in our power sector. As at today, Nigeria's electricity is among the most epileptic in the world. How can such a power-driven programme be successful?

Some critics may attempt to dismiss my argument by reminding us that National Electricity in Nigeria does not stand as our first option, as our generators have remained our main source of electricity for more than thirty-four years(1983-date).

If, as a country, we take solace in availability of our China-made generators, what should justify this solace in a situation where a generator that was being used in a Computer Based Test in Aba where twelve centres were cancelled, had broken down no sooner than the examination had begun and a second one that was brought in as a substitute also could not carry the load of the Centre?

Amongst the complaints that trailed the examination was infrastructural deficiency in most of the Centres. The Centres were said not to have enough seats. The Management of the Centres took advantage of the situation to exploit the candidates. Some of the candidates were tasked to cough out between five hundred and one thousand Naira just for a seat alone. The question here is, how many of them had such amount in them?

The above forms of frustration end up destabilizing the psyche of the candidates and eventually affect their performances.

Let us view this challenge from the point of constitutionality of federalism. To begin with, education, be it at the primary, secondary or tertiary level, is in the concurrent list. It is not the exclusive reserve of the Federal government.

The attraction in a federalism is in its healthy competition. Federating units, whether regions or states, though preferably regions, develop in accordance with their resources and abilities.

One investment that has the capability of propelling developments and advancements in any human society is education. As it is said, a people can only be as developed as they are educated.

Unfortunately in Nigeria, our national leadership, since 1970, has been so mentally lazy that their only vision on wealth creation has been on cheap money from oil and gas from the Niger Delta region.

The State of California in the United States of America is among the six richest states in the world. Yet, it has neither oil nor gas. What California proudly has is a strong long chain of human capacity. Her human resource bank is made up of erudite intellectuals and inventive professionals in different fields of endeavour. Many inventions are patented in California, with their attendant revenue by way of taxes, rights and royalties.

Unlike what happens in other climes, Nigeria's cumbersome federalism continues to constitute an unwarranted clog on the wheels of development, especially in education in Nigeria.

Why must the federal government determine criteria for admission of students into universities that are either owned by federating units or private individuals or missionaries?

The University is described as an Ivory Tower. It is a citadel of learning. The University symbolizes and depicts excellence. It is not a place for half-baked people.

A well-grounded and funded University, through research, inventions and publications, can place the economy of its operational environment on a pedestal of incomparable envy to others.

Regrettably and very costly too, the Federal Government of Nigeria, being a hang-over of previous Hausa/Fulani conservatively dominated military dictatorship that forced a false constitution on us,continues to tie down the aspirations of every federating unit to the cluelessness and consequent backwardness of states in many parts of Northern Nigeria.

Saying it the way it should be, the Federal government has no business setting up the Joint Admissions And Matriculation Board.

The absolute need for restructuring of the Nigerian federation requires no emphasis. Otherwise, we will continue to grope in the dark.

For a long time running, Christians in Nigeria have been expressing fears of both overt and covert attempts by the core Moslem North to Islamize Nigeria. This fear became more palpable under Buhari's Presidency.

His Minister of Education, Prof Adamu Adamu, is a core Northern Moslem irredentist. Of all the Parastatals in Federal Ministry of Education, he made sure all are headed by Moslems.

To make sure his Islamist agenda was achieved, he had to fire the Registrar of JAMB whom he met on assumption of duty, Prof Dibu Ojerinde, a Christian of the Baptist Church who is a Professor of Test and Measurement.

In the place of Ojerinde, Adamu appointed not just a Moslem but a Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Prof Ishaq Oloyede.

It is this Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Ishaq Oloyede, that had the heartlessness of cancelling results of candidates, a high percentage of which is in the Christian-predominant South of Nigeria.

Centre For Equity And Eradication Of Rural Poverty sees this inhuman treatment as a travesty of justice, unjustifiable act of wickedness and, therefore, unacceptable.

The frustration that could result out of this act of inconsideration and recklessness could be enough to produce many Chukwudi Onwuamadike, aka Evans, from these our dejected youths.

Centre For Equity And Eradication Of Rural Poverty urges the parents and guardians of these youths, especially those who know they committed no offence, to pull their resources together and fiercely challenge this atrocity in our courts of competent jurisdiction.

Evil thrives only where men and women of conscience keep quiet or feel non-challant. If this Executive recklessness is not timely and effectively challenged appropriately, there would be no guarantee it will not become a recurring decimal in Nigeria's education sector.

This is the irrevocable position of Centre For Equity And Eradication Of Rural Poverty.

Executive Director.
Re: Joint Admission And Matriculation Board And Nigeria's Mock Federalism: by mrnigerdelta: 5:37pm On Jun 26, 2017
true talk

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