Every year, hundreds of thousands of students sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to gain entrance into Nigerian universities. The large number of candidates coupled with other logistics problems often makes conducting the exams quite a headache for the examination officials and the candidates.
Sometimes, problems are experienced in the areas of insufficient materials which often lead to missing scripts or missing results.
However, to curb this, the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde announced yesterday that three options would be introduced for the 2013 UTME.
Paper and Pencil Testing (PPT), Dibu Based Test (DBT), where questions would be presented on computers and answers would be on paper and Computer Based Testing (CBT) where both questions and answers would be done on computer.
When I first read the “Dibu Based Test”, I was confused until I realized he named it after himself. How interesting.
Mr Ojerinde stated that candidates were at liberty to choose one of the three options in the 2013 UTME.
According to him, candidates who chose the CBT option would get their scores a few minutes after writing the examination on their mobile phones.
“The internet age has come to stay with us hence as actors in the new age, you cannot afford to stay on the fence, you must be prepared to join the train or else you are left behind,” he told Daily Times.
This seems like quite a laudable initiative, but the question is this; is JAMB prepared to conduct Computer Based Tests for the hundreds of thousands of students who might opt for the new methods next year. In 2012, a total of 1, 503,931 candidates sat for the UTME and even though they were all Paper and Pencil Testing, there were still logistics problems.
I remember the last time University of Lagos tried to conduct Computer Based Tests for its Post-UTME candidates. With the few computers available compared to the hundreds of candidates, it was chaos. How then can JAMB conduct Computer Based Tests for hundreds of thousands of candidates across the country when some states obviously don’t have the resources to conduct the tests? Are they really prepared for this? I guess we’d just have to wait and see.