Paper Qualifications Responsible for Exam Malpractices, Says JAMB Registrar

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By Victor Ogunje

The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, on Wednesday, said preferences placed on paper qualifications by employers in Nigeria is responsible for high incidences of examination malpractices in JAMB.

He also said the simple way to make public servants shy away from corruption and other sharp practices is to make available to them, appropriate minimum welfare packages.

The former vice-chancellor of the University of Ilorin made the assertion in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, while delivering the 10th annual lecture of the Forum of Heads of Federal Government Establishments in Nigeria, (Ekiti State chapter).

Speaking on the topic ‘Value Reorientation for Effective Service Delivery: JAMB Perspectives’, he said no worker would choose to remain indolent, disloyal and unproductive if his working environment is appealing.

Oloyede blamed various cases of fraudulent practices in schools, especially during external examinations, on too much emphasis on paper qualifications by authorities while engaging people for employment.

Oloyede, who was represented on the occasion by Mrs Mabel Agbebaku, the Director, Quality Assurance at JAMB Headquarters, said he had initiated as well as carried out a number of innovations and disciplinary measures which had not only shore up annual money generated in its activities, but also eased out bad eggs from the agency.

“Any practice that aims at compromising the integrity of examinations pose a great danger to the collective hopes of the citizenry and the developmental aspirations of the nation.

“As the Board is investing a large chunk of its resources in the fight against examination infractions, government and other stakeholders alike must also show increased commitment to this fight because of the threats posed not only to the educational system, but also to national development.

“Some of the reasons for the widespread report of academic cheating might not be unconnected with the undue emphasis placed on paper qualifications and the desperation for professional courses such as Medicine, Law, Accountancy etc,” he said.

According to him, in the Board’s constant efforts to deploy international best practices, Computer Based Testing (CBT) was employed as the mode of examination delivery in the conduct of its exams in recent past, saying this innovation had helped to reduce malpractices and irregularities to the barest minimum.

He accused some private CBT centres of complicity in encouraging malpractices during UTME exams, warning them to desist henceforth or be ready to face consequences.

The JAMB boss said many of the CBT centres are in the habit of collaborating with both parents and schools to earn underserving grades, adding that: “Some of them even go as far as allowing the use of one person’s biometrics to register multiple candidates and also use different person’s photograph to register a candidate.”

The special guest of honour on the occasion and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who was represented by the Head of Service, Mrs. Peju Babafemi, commended the forum for coming up with the idea of organising the annual lecture and promised government’s continued support.

He agreed on the topic of the lecture, saying: “The continuing debate on the pervading moral decadence in the society has resonated, in no small measure, the concept of ‘Value Reorientation’ in public domain.

“Therefore, the significance and aptness of your lecture, titled ‘Value Reorientation for Effective Service Delivery: JAMB Perspective’ cannot be overemphasized

“JAMB has indeed demonstrated this ideals of value re-orientation , as evident in its various reformations as well as giant stride in terms of increased remittances to the coffers of the federal government.”

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr James Famurewa, the Chairman of Ekiti chapter of the Forum, explained that the annual lecture was conceptualised as a veritable and strategic platform where all federal civil servants in the state can benefit immensely from the intellectual capacity and wealth of experience of eminent scholars, renowned public officers, technocrats and other critical stakeholders invited to deliver lecture.

He hinted that the forum had just been allowed a parcel of land to build its state secretariat, estimated to cost N25 million, with an appeal to both the state government and other stakeholders to assist in making the project become a reality

The chairman of the occasion, Mrs. Janet Olufunmilayo Adesubokan, remarked that members of the Forum in Ekiti had all been fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of the federal government at the state level to the admiration of the host public.

“It is certain and evident that through this type of annual lecture, the body has been able to live to expectations, especially in the area of educating and creating the needed awareness on activities of the federal government,” Adesubokan said.