Ahead the 2021 Unified Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry Registration exercise, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has conducted a centre accreditation and validation exercise against the backdrop of fresh guidelines for the operations of the Computer-Based Test (CBT) centres to be used for the forthcoming registration and examination.
The fresh guidelines issued at a virtual meeting with the Chief Technical Advisors (CTAs) from the 36 States of the Federation and FCT on Tuesday, 15th February, 2021, came on the heels of commendation to these personalities for a job well done that led to a seamless 2020 UTME.
The five-day exercise which started on Wednesday, 17th February, 2021, and ended on Friday, 22nd February, 2021, was aimed at determining the suitability of the old and new examination centres. The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, in his brief remarks on the occasion, said centre accreditation and validation is the first step towards the commencement of the 2021/22 UTME/DE exercise. According to him, centre accreditation, when thoroughly done, determines how good a particular year’s examination exercise would be.
He said, “When you do this type of good work you are not only doing it for the Board but for yourself. You will realise that we conducted the last UTME with little or no stress because of the thorough accreditation that you had carried out.”
Continuing, he said, “As for us in JAMB, we are blind to proprietorship. The only thing we have is passion for quality, it does not matter who owns a CBT centre. As such, it is my expectation that this year’s exercise would record even greater successes. In effect, if a centre falls below expectations, it should not be accredited because if such a centre is found to be defective, a huge question mark is placed on your grading and integrity as a team.
The Director, Information Technology Services Department, Mr. Fabian Okoro, in a presentation highlighted the fresh guidelines to include but not limited to a redesignedform that would mandate new and old CBT centres to supply theNational Identification Number (NIN) of their designated officials adding that any CBT centre that flouts this directive throughproviding fake NIN, among others, would be sanctioned.
Other guidelines include the submission of registration details of any particular centre with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for private centres and those privately-owned but located in the campuses of tertiary institutions.
Mr. Okoro also informed the CTAs that the Board frowns at centres sharing premises as it preferred them to be stand-alone entities. In the same vein, he restated the importance of proper seat numbering to enable adequate identification of candidates during review of CCTV footages. In addition, he said all centres must have the required capacity of 250 and 25 back-up systems to make up the required number of 275 systems which must all be fixed in individual cubicles.
Furthermore, the Director reminded the CTAs on the position of the Board on the use of thin client systems stating that these must feature a 2GB RAM capacity so as to have sufficient space as well as prevent freezing.
Similarly, he stressed that all the computer systems must be on a Local Area Network as wireless connection would not be accepted. He added that a good power generating system stronge enough to carry the entire system is non-negotiable.
Mr. Okoro called for a more spacious holding room to comply with relevant protocols on COVID-19 particularly with regard to social distancing.
Other things that the CTAs had to check, according to the Director, include in-house restrooms in the examination hall to prevent impersonation and reckless movements. He also called on the CTAs to ensure that the CBT centres had installed and updated their systems antivirus software to guard against any untoward experience during the conduct of the examination.
The CTAs were also given marching orders to carry out thorough checks on the CCTV installation of the various centres in terms of effective and adequate coverage as the examination is remotely monitored from the Board’s Headquarters. He stated that wherever the camera coverage is not adequate, they should insist on more cameras to be installed.
The Director also stressed that the Board would not accept anything less than the Windows 10 Operating System. In addition, he urged CTAs to inform centres that only a uniform white background should be used while taking the candidates’ passports as that would make for a clearer picture. The Director said all these measures were intended to forestall failure from any CBT centre, while announcing that about 654 old centres and 119 new centres would be accredited in the exercise.