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UTME: CBT Operators, JAMB Disagree Over Biometric Failure

The Computer-Based Test Centres Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria on Thursday said the failure of biometric and browsers provided by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board for the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination was responsible for the inability of some candidates to sit for the examination.

However, JAMB has dismissed the allegation, saying the CBT operators resorted to blackmail because the board refused to accede to their “unreasonable demands.”

But the association said despite the introduction of the CBT examination and biometric verification, there were JAMB workers deployed on the examination days, who were either incompetent or connived to compromise the integrity of the 2019 UTME.

The CPAN President, Maxwell Akwuruoha, at a press conference on Thursday, noted that it wanted JAMB to issue to the CBT operators a Memorandum of Understanding and adequate time for visitation and accreditation.

Akwuruoha listed technical challenges that affected the 2019 UTME exercise to include; biometric failure, browser failure, incompetence of technical staff, inadequacies in CBT centres and excesses in sales of novels, syllabus and brochures.

He said, “Biometric enrolment as secured registration medium for the UTME and Direct Entry candidates started in 2011, with the introduction of electronic testing actively in 2013 and absolutely in 2015. It has been noted that the introduction of technology as electronic testing saved huge costs initially meant for printing question papers, syllabus, brochure, and logistics for delivery of same.

“It has also been known that only N600 is paid to centres for each candidate that sits for the examination. It has also been noted that JAMB applies a fire-brigade approach during accreditation, especially with ad hoc workers who are not trained.

“It does not kill anybody to apologise that the biometric system actually failed. We had candidates that were prevented from taken the exam because of biometric failure from JAMB.

“Centres are ready to partner the NIMC to encourage the enrolment of candidates for the 2020 UTME. There is no way examination malpractices can take place without the connivance of JAMB supervisors.”

However, JAMB’s Head of Information, Fabian Benjamin, dismissed the allegations, saying “It is quite unfortunate that a group of people, who claim to be our partners and who daily clamour for an increase in what we pay them, will resort to blackmail.

“One, our biometric verification did not fail. We conducted biometric verification for about two million candidates. Let me assume, without conceding, that 2,000 candidates could not be verified, what is the percentage of 2,000 in two million?

“Every candidate that registered properly was verified. So for any candidate who was not verified, it is not as a result of biometric failure; some of them registered in centres that were not approved and some of them did multiple registration and they were therefore blocked.

“And if you talk about examination malpractice, we have been delisting centres found compromising our exam and none of them had ever come with allegations against our workers. They are talking now because we have refused to yield to their demands.”

 

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