(Last Updated On: March 30, 2017)

By James, Michael Igiri


The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has announced its resolve to abolish Computer Based Test (CBT) method for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination

(UTME) due to low computer literacy level of candidates.

It has also, in collaboration with a private institute, resolved to set up dedicated UTME

Centres for visually impaired candidates in Abuja, Lagos, and Kano in 2018. Registrar of the

board, Prof. Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede, who said this in Kaduna yesterday, however, said

the board wouldn’t not revert to the old paper and pencil mode, but an “eight-key devise”.

He spoke at the opening of Strategic Planning Retreat on Monitoring and Supervision of

2017 UTME at Arewa House in Kaduna. Oloyede said the device would eradicate the

challenge of low computer literacy and phobia for mouse by some candidates.

He said: “from the general feedback on the adoption of the Computer-Based Test mode, we

have noted the challenge of computer low level literacy of some candidates, especially with

the phobia for the mouse. This has been responsible partly for the call by some people for

reversal to the paper and pencil test mode.

“To ensure equity and level playground for all candidates taking Unified Tertiary

Matriculation Examination, the board has designed a system that will allow candidates use

only eight keys without the use of mouse. All the candidates need to do is to press the

letters A, B, C, D for responses to questions and keys: P, N, S and R representing; previous

question, next question, submit and reverse, respectively.”

On the new arrangements for the visually impaired candidates, the JAMB Registrar said

Digital Bridge Institute in partnership with the board has agreed to set-up three dedicated

centres in Abuja, Lagos, and Kano in 2018. He added that the board would support the

centres with necessary inputs.

Ahead of 2018, when the project of dedicated centres will come to fruition, the board has

reached an understanding with the association for the blind persons in Nigeria and blind

students in Lagos that an abridged approach would be used for the 2017 UTME, whereby all

prospective blind candidates would be invited to three centres in the country for special

assessment in their subjects of choice and relevance to their desired courses and


Oloyede while addressing the participants, most of whom are external supervisors drawn

from various tertiary institutions and education sector, said concerned stakeholders must

take UTME as their own and make it a project.

He noted that the conduct of the board’s examination, which is a selection examination, is

the foundation of quality education. Oloyede, therefore, advised stakeholders to see their

involvement in UTME as a call to national duty and personal sacrifice.

The registrar said the agency may reduce the timeline for the UTME from three hours to

two hours. He added that the question papers will be uploaded five minutes to the

examinations to check malpractice.

He said: “As for the 2017 UTME, it is likely we reduce the duration of the examinations. We

are looking at two hours for the examinations instead of the present three-hour timeline.

This is in line with international best practices.

“As for the candidates, for their age, the maximum time they can sit for examinations is two

hours. Even in terms of International Standard, for primary school pupils, the maximum time

for examinations is between 45minutes and one hour.”

He confirmed that about 300,000 candidates might sit for the mock UTME examinations on

April 8, which will be used to test-run, its new technology to make its examinations easier

for students.

Source: The Nation Newspaper