The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has announced its resolve to abolish Computer Based Test (CBT) method for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) due to low computer literacy level of candidates.
It has also, in collaboration with a private institute, resolved to set up dedicated UTME centres for visually impaired candidates in Abuja, Lagos and Kano in 2018.
Registrar of the board, Prof. Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede, who said this in Kaduna yesterday, however, said the board would not revert to the old paper and pencil mode, but an “eight-key device”.
He spoke at the opening of Strategic Planning Retreat on Monitoring and Supervision of 2017 UTME at Arewa House in Kaduna.
Oloyede said the device would eradicate the challenge of low computer literacy and phobia for mouse by some candidates.
He said: “From the general feedback on the adoption of the Computer-Based Test mode, we have noted the challenge of computer low level literacy of some candidates, especially with the phobia for the mouse. This has been responsible partly for the call by some people for reversal to the Paper and Pencil Test mode.
“To ensure equity and level playground for all candidates taking Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, the board has designed a system that will allow candidates use only eight keys without the use of mouse. All the candidates need to do is to press the letters A, B, C, D for responses to questions and keys: P, N, S and R representing; previous question, next question, submit and reverse, respectively.”
On the new arrangements for the visually impaired candidates, the JAMB Registrar said Digital Bridge Institute in partnership with the board has agreed to set up three dedicated centres in Abuja, Lagos and Kano in 2018.
He added that the board would support the centres with necessary inputs.
Ahead of 2018, when the project of dedicated centres will come to fruition, the board has reached an understanding with the association for the blind persons in Nigeria and blind students in Lagos that an abridged approach would be used for the 2017 UTME, whereby all prospective blind candidates would be invited to three centres in the country for special assessment in their subjects of choice and relevance to their desired courses and programmes.
Oloyede while addressing the participants, most of whom are external supervisors and other stakeholders drawn from various tertiary institutions and education sector, said concerned stakeholders must take UTME as their own and make it a project.
He noted that the conduct of the board’s examination, which is a selection examination, is the foundation of quality education.
Oloyede, therefore, advised stakeholders to see their involvement in UTME as a call to national duty and personal sacrifice.
The registrar said the agency may reduce the timeline for the UTME from three hours to two hours.
He added that the question papers will be uploaded five minutes to the examinations to check malpractice.
He said: “As for the 2017 UTME, it is likely we reduce the duration of the examinations. We are looking at two hours for the examinations instead of the present three-hour timeline. This is in line with international best practices.
“As for the candidates, for their age, the maximum time they can sit for examinations is two hours. Even in terms of international standard, for primary school pupils, the maximum time for examinations is between 45minutes and one hour.”
He confirmed that about 300,000 candidates might sit for the mock UTME examinations on April 8, which will be used to test-run its new technology to make its examinations easier for students.