The Joint and Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) says that technology has helped the body to curb exams fraud and boost government revenue beyond ₦500m.
JAMB Registrar, Professor Is-haq Oloyede who disclosed this in a personally signed statement issued in Abuja recently also underscores that technology came in handy in helping to reduce exams malpractices during the 2019 UTME.
According to him, a government-introduced Computer Base Test (CBT), under a Public-Private Partnership project, which aided to expose exams fraud, was also used for what he describes as the development of the Nigerian child and the betterment of all Nigerians desirous of improvement in the educational standard.
JAMB is a Nigerian education facilitator that conducts entrance examinations for prospective undergraduates into Nigerian tertiary institutions: universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
The JAMB Registrar expressed the government worry over a number of infractions traced to the schools whose proprietors paid a lot of money to indulge in exam malpractices.
‘’One of the major strategies of JAMB to counter this is the introduction of a shortcode where every candidate types his or her name and sends it directly to 55019 on the particular phone”, Oloyede explains while presenting a scorecard of the 2019 UTME exercise.
‘’Another means deployed was to register more than one candidate who will all log into the exam hall and log out the legitimate owner who would now call for help as a result of not being able to access the questions.
This scenario ultimately caused the rescheduling of exams and allow professional examination writers to have as many candidates as possible to sit for. The Board this year has deployed appropriate technologies to detect not only the facial duplication of candidates but also biometric multiplication.’’
The JAMB Registrar explains that “the Board has also gone as far as identifying identical twins and siblings whose existence should be recognized but not allowed to create a loophole for the fraudsters. Many twins across the country will testify that we were in touch with them as a way of verifying their identities.
For those we are not sure of their distinct identities, we have created a platform to justify their characteristics in order not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Those who belong to this doubtful category are treated as follows: a) Those who have facial identities in multiples are cross-checked further by ascertaining their fingerprints.
Where fingerprints are not identical or not more than two registrants even if their fingers are identical, we give them the benefit of the doubt especially when only one exam was taken.
b) We canceled those with multiple registrations and who wrote two or more examination with identical finger prints. We therefore caution that this is the last time that double registration will be given any consideration. Henceforth, anyone who registers more than once will be taken to have engaged in examination malpractice and be treated as such. The bloated figure of registrants distorts data and derails proper planning.
‘’In the 2019 UTME, we were able to identify a large number of impersonators who have been writing UTME for candidates. Most of the tutorial masters specialize in recruiting such professional writers for the candidates. They do so by using the names directly or variants of the name or by multiple registrations ”
An example is Anambra State where two centers registered a large number of impersonating candidates. In such cases, the results of the candidates have been canceled and the CBT centers delisted.
We have also tracked the registration centers and the computers used. In cases where we were able to ascertain the culpability of the centers, we delisted them. ”
”Where we have doubts, our principle is that we would rather allow 10 criminals to go scot-free than allow an innocent person to be unjustly punished. Another dimension of impersonation is a futile attempt of defeating the biometric capturing of ten fingers that was introduced in 2017
The fraudsters thought they could beat the system through ‘contributed fingers’ where two or more persons would use their fingers to register for candidates thinking that any of them would be able to write for such candidates if the system allowed it. ”
”Two examples of this case are in the Aminu Saleh College of Education, Azare, where someone’s finger(s) was discovered in 42 person’s registration and Bauchi State University, Gadau, where one person’s is traced to the registration of 64 candidates with a view to allowing any of the finger-contributing impersonators to access the examination hall.
The Board went to the extent of interacting with the principal officers of the institution in Azare. We must appreciate the Council Chairman and Provost of the College whose cooperation led to the confession of the culprit that he contributed the fingers in good faith. ”
The confession, as bad as it was, is good for the Board as without it, there would have been doubts in the accuracy of the technology deployed to determine and detect the infraction. Another example was in Borno State where in Nassara Computer Academy Maiduguri 233 candidates had one particular finger included in each of their biometric registration.
We have made representative arrests and we must thank the Inspector-General of Police and the Commandant-General of the NSCDC for their wonderful cooperation. The IGP actually set up a Special Task Force of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) which assisted tremendously in tracking the offenders. Initially, people thought that what happened in the US in the timely conviction of those involved in the admission scandal could not happen in Nigeria. ”
Meanwhile, the Board has through sale of examination forms to prospective admission seeking candidates generated over N500m as revenue this year.