JAMB and the Integrity Question

by Peter Ejirika

A cursory glance at the news media’s account of the management and
reporting of the scores of the recent Jamb Exam is very troubling to any
beneficiary of Nigeria’s education system of pre-war era. Jamb Exam by its
very nature is supposed to be a type of Standardized Test or Examination.
This is a test that is administered and scored in a consistent or
“standard” manner and such tests are designed in such a way that the
questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and
interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a
predetermined, standard manner. The last Jamb Exam was a far cry of the
forgone in terms of the administration of the exams, for instance the names
of some bona fide students were missing from the list of candidates, some
centers had mediocre sitting and lighting arrangements and there was one
logistical problem or the other which interfered with the Reliability and
Validity of this test as a measure of either a student’s college readiness
or knowledge, skills and abilities in specific subject areas. In addition
the general atmosphere associated with the administration of this Test, to
say the least, raises some Psychometrics issues.

According to Dr. Ojerinde’s news release, 80,419 results were withheld for
further scrutiny. Invariably, the additional scrutiny compromises the
integrity of the Testing Standards and invalidates the Scoring system.
Also, the additional scrutiny raise some Testing as well as Scoring issues
including the nature of the Rubrics that will be used for scoring the
answer sheets of the latter. In conjunction with these anomalies, Dr.
Ojerinde reported that about 40,612 candidates were not familiar with the
shading instructions of the exams. Undoubtedly, this is a reflection of
JAMB’s Field Testing Model not a fault of the students. In terms of
reporting of students’ performance on the Test, Dr. Ojerinde’s Report as
presented in the news media lacked the fundamental element of Relevance
that is usually associated with the reporting of Statistical data of this
nature. In fairness to the Nigerian people the last Jamb Exam was more of a
measure of a Student’s Pre-Test degree of Exposure with the Data Collection
instrument than a measure of Knowledge-base in specific subject areas.

In view of these deficiencies, Higher Education should be mindfully
reflective of using 2013 JAMB Exam for College Admission, the Education
Select Committee of the Legislature should conduct a hearing on the myriad
of irregularities surrounding the 2013 exams and Dr. Ojerinde should
honorably resign because he failed the Nigerian populace. He demonstrated
his inability to administer and conduct a secured and strict examination.
No doubt, the leadership of Jamb is a renowned scholar however there is a
world of difference between scholarship and managerial skill set.

The universities should conduct research studies on the use of Jamb
Examination for college admission and the students whose results are
withheld for whatever reasons are entitled to refund. In conclusion, the
Legislature should be aware that the JAMB exam candidates of today are the
Nigerian workforce of the future.

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