In advance of the next April’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), a group has threatened to protest the decision of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to automate conduct of the examination.
The group, the Global Network for Education Challenges in Nigeria, has also petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan, the Senate President, Senator David Mark, Speaker, House of Reps, Aminu Tambuwal and Dr Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria, that it would make good its threat if the examination body does not rescind its decision.
In a copy of the petition made available to the schoolwatch.com.ng late Tuesday evening, in Warri, Delta State, the rights group had already briefed the Chambers of Dr Muduaga Odje, SAN and Co. to approach the courts to stop the computerised test which will jeopardise the candidates’ chances during the examinationss.
Mr Emmanuel Omu, who led the aggrieved members of the rights group, demanded the immediate inclusion of the manual option in the e-registration currently going on online.
The group argued that since not all the prospective candidates were computer literate, and they were never exposed to the course throughout their years in secondary school, it would be unfair to subject the candidates to a computer-based test method.
‘’Consequently, the insistence of JAMB on the computer-based testing method for the 12th of April , 2014 examinations is highly prejudicial and biased to our clients and many more candidates who are not computer literate,’’ lawyers to the group wrote.
The education rights group urged the examination body to ‘’as a matter of urgency’’ shift the commencement of the automated test till next year when candidates would be mentally strong enough to use the computer.
‘’Accordingly, we hereby demand on behalf of our clients, that the paper-pencil option as reflected in the 2014 UTME e-registration Biometric Data Capture Card be restored forthwith within one week from the date of the receipt of this letter to enable our clients and several other students to register and write the UTME as scheduled for 12th April, 2014,’’ stated the petitioners.
The group threatened to explore ‘’ all forms of legal redress as well as political and civil options’’ in the event that the demands of its members were not met in the next seven days.
The then Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, had while inaugurating the new initiative, said it was one of the transformative efforts of the Federal Government towards revamping the education sector.
She had said that the initiative would advance the nation technologically and reduce or completely eliminate examination malpractices in the UTME.
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