Parents keep calling me to favour their children - JAMB Registrar speaks on challenges

Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) says malpractice and indiscipline are some of the board’s major challenges yet to be fully addressed.

The Registrar of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board(JAMB), Prof Ishaq Oloyede (Eagle online)

The Registrar made this known when members of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education visited the board’s headquarters in Bwari, Abuja on Monday.

Oloyede said that the challenges, unfortunately, were mostly with regards to parents trying to bend the system by all means and get their wards or children into schools, irrespective of their performance.

“Our challenge remain examination malpractice, especially with regards to parents who keep calling me to favour their wards or children whether they meet the requirements of the system or not.

“There’s also indiscipline from the tertiary institutions who admit against the Federal Government’s policy guidelines as mandated by the Ministry of Education.

“At the end of the day, after admitting outside these policies, they put pressure on students at the final moments towards graduation to come back to us for what they call regularisation.

”We also have same challenge from some private sectors and dubious Computer Based Test (CBT) centres too and we are really putting efforts to curb this.”

The Registrar said that the number of registered candidates for 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME) was not up to 1.4 million, a low figure, when compared to 2.2 million in 2020.

He noted, however that the mandatory use of National Identity Number (NIN) helped the board to curb some of the malpractices usually encountered during the UTME registration.

Oloyede said the malpractices included multiple and fraudulent registration by candidates with irregular credentials.

He said that during the 2021 examination, the board’s challenge shifted to security operatives attached to some of the centres, whom he said allegedly smuggled fraudulent candidates into the examination hall.

“Even after they dodge the verification process where of course the system would have identified them through their pictures, the cameras at the centres immediately picked them and we were able to apprehend them.

“That was when some of them said either their parents gave the security operatives money to let them in or the candidates themselves bribed their way in.

”So whether we like it or not, NIN helped us curb some of these challenges at both the registration and examination exercise.”

On JAMB’S budget performance for 2020, the Registrar noted that the board remitted N4.1 billion to the Federal Government confers, stating that staff welfare was paramount and they were adequately taken care of.

He said that the board adopted some secondary schools in its host community, alongside other pet projects in some schools to enable it make the desired impact in Bwari communities.

A monitoring committee, he added, had been set up by the board to ensure that the monies disbursed for the projects was properly used.

Oloyede said that plans were underway to complete a 2,500 capacity centre with global standard that would give room to CBT or process of exercises like the NIN registration and other exercises from across board.

Speaking on behalf of the committee, Sen. Akon Eyakenyi, Vice Chairman of the committee said that the members were on an oversight visit to check on the board’s appropriation as approved by the National Assembly.

Eyakenyi said the committee was also at the board to assess the just concluded UTME and find out what was behind the performance with regards to results of the candidates.

“The interaction with the registrar today revealed a lot of truth that Nigerians do not know as it relates to conduct of the UTME.

”I appreciate the registrar and his management team, indeed, he is a round peg in a round hole who knows what it takes to run an institution like this.

”Most of the revelations we saw are not what is to be exposed to the public in terms of conduct of the examination.

”JAMB stands as a bridge between the secondary and the tertiary and if it continues with what we have seen so far, definitely, the education sector in the nation will be improved.”

Eyakenyi said that the committee had identified two major areas that might need to go into the process of amending the Act establishing JAMB, which would be the committee’s support to the board.

She said that the committee would also look into and advise the way forward on the issue of appropriate age for candidates to enroll for tertiary education.

Eyakenyi, while commending the efforts of the board, also urged it to from time to time, go public in educating Nigerians on what was expected of them generally, especially parents of candidates.

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