Public affairs analysts, industry professionals in the education space have thrown their weight behind the decision of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to prosecute persons involved in impersonation in the 2020 UTME saying it will serve as a deterrent to others.
Reacting to the decision of JAMB to prosecute 200 of the over 400 persons involved in impersonation in the 2020 UTME, educationists and industry experts said this action is a welcome development and should be done more frequently to deter others.
Ish-aq Oloyede, registrar/chief executive of JAMB, at a briefing in Abuja said that the examination body had over 400 people that were caught whereby those who wrote the exams were different from those who applied.
Oloyede said about 200 of the candidates would be prosecuted, five from each state of the federation, as JAMB does not have the resources to prosecute all the 400 candidates. Prosecuting a candidate would cost the board over N500,000.
The JAMB registrar while alleging that some tertiary institutions were accomplices in the widespread irregularities said the first 64 cases of CBT infractions treated by JAMB were from the North, with some having multiple cases of up to 96 irregularities.
He said, “In Nigeria, people don’t copy good things but the bad things. The cases of examination malpractices which used to be in the South has now crept to the North and the first 20 of such cases we tracked came mostly from the North, especially Kano.
Examination malpractice has eaten deep into the fabric of society and has compromised the life of millions of students says Osakwe Uchegbu, an education analyst in Lagos, adding that the decision by JAMB to prosecute if followed through is a step in the right direction towards bringing sanity to conduct of external examination in the country.
Uchegbu while lamenting that the scourge of malpractice said if not tackled head-on now, may affect human capital development as Africa’s largest economy may find it difficult to catch up with the rest of the world.
“So JAMB is right to prosecute examination offenders to the extent that the law permits to prevent gullible Nigerians from falling prey to these unwholesome practices”, Uchegbu said.
Nobody should blame JAMB for coming down hard on those caught in examination malpractices, Abosede Oni, an educationist said.
“The blame should go to operators of computer-based centres who rather than use it for legitimate transactions, allow it to be a den where all manner of sharp practices is perpetuated,” she said.
Oni opines that the reason candidates seeking admission fall prey to these so-called CBT centres is all in their quest to gain admission by all means. Some of these candidates are blindfolded such that instead of going through the normal channel, they prefer short cut and sometimes are aided by their parents.